Sport 3 potential Rangers changes as Steven Gerrard looks to keep 'momentum' running
3 talking points as Christian Doidge and Hibs dent Rangers' title charge
An end-to-end game at Easter Road saw the sides share the spoils in a 2-2 draw.Drey Wright put the hosts ahead, but goals from Alfredo Morelos and Scott Arfield turned the game on its head.
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Momentum. It's the buzzword for football managers when they're on a good run.
It's what they look for when they're in a bit of a rut and are aiming to turn things around but forit's all about continuing a good start to the season.
When you're at a club likeyou're only one draw away from a crisis so Gerrard knows all about what he needs to do.
Steven Gerrard should end Ryan Porteous Rangers bad blood and sign big time defender - Hotline
Gordon Parks took your calls and it's fair to say the Rangers boss didn't get much support on the Hotline.It appears sitting top of the Premiership provides no immunity from the critics who took the former Liverpool star to task for his comments after drawing with Hibs.
And that's when the big decisions come. Do you make wholesale changes to rest players after a tough game or do you keep going and hope for the best?
Speaking ahead of the game withGerrard said: “I won’t be making wholesale changes because it’s a really important game. I was impressed with how we went about our business at Motherwell after a tough game in Holland and the plan is to try to get the players in the same frame of mind for this game.
“It’s all about the mentality and attitude, and coming quick out the blocks against Ross County.
“We had to leave a lot on the pitch so we have to recover and get the three points because we want to stay top for as long as possible.”
With Kemar Roofe andstill injured then there's less options but Gerrard still has some decisions to make.
Willem II 0-4 Rangers: Kent stars in Europa League qualifier win
Inspired by the excellent Ryan Kent, who scored and had two assists, a play-off against Galatasaray in Glasgow next week was comfortably secured by Rangers. They now stand just 90 minutes away from a third successive season in the Europa League group stage. Aside from prestige, the £2.5million of UEFA prize money on offer for qualification would be very welcome as Scottish football faces up to the absence of fans in grounds for the foreseeable future.Kent won the penalty that was converted by James Tavernier before netting himself prior to the break.
Ryan Jack's injury return
Starting in midfield, it's an obvious choice is to bring Ryan Jack back into the starting lineup and rest Steven Davis after a run of games where he has played regularly. At 35, he's also likely to start at least two of Northern Ireland's three international games over the 10 days that follow, before the big game on October 17 at Celtic Park.
Gerrard might decide that giving him a break before the internationals is the best way to ensure Davis is in top condition and it's timed perfectly with Jack returning to fitness. He had a 20 minute cameo against Galatasaray on Thursday night and will head off on international duty with Scotland after Steve Clarke included him for the their three games.
Jack returning could cause some issues. Rangers seem to find it a bit awkward to play the ball forward as quickly as they do with Davis when it's a partnership of the former Aberdeen man and Glen Kamara with both often occupying the same positions.
Rangers' sparkling duo that Alfredo Morelos and Ianis Hagi must follow to deliver Steven Gerrard trophy glory
Steven Gerrard has plenty of reasons to be cheerful about the form of his team and some of his stars still have room to improve further.It's all a far cry from the deflated, defeated side that capitulated in the league after the winter break last term.
It still makes sense to bring him back in and rest Davis against a side who have won just one of their last five games in the shape of County.
Jordan Jones and a change of shape
Recent games have seen Rangers go back to their more usual 4-3-2-1 formation but if Gerrard decides to rest Davis, he could easily go to a 4-2-3-1 and have a more attacking potency.
Jordan Jones put in an impressive performance on the right wing against Motherwell last Sunday and got his first goal for the club at Fir Park. He was back on the bench on Thursday night as Ianis Hagi regained his place but there is an opportunity to play both. If Gerrard changed to a 4-2-3-1 then he could have Hagi in the middle - in his natural no. 10 role - with Jones and Ryan Kent on either side.
It would give more of a threat, particularly if Davis is rested, and you could play two of Jack, Kamara and Scott Arfield further back.
Itten to get his chance
Another change that could come as a result of the upcoming international break is in the striker's position. Alfredo Morelos is due to fly to South America to play for Colombia in games against Venezuela and Chile, with the latter just three days before that Old Firm derby.
That could open a door for Cedric Itten to get a bit of game time before his own international games. The Swiss striker got a double at Fir Park last week and has recovered from a knee injury. He's started just one game for the club prior to this but this would let him get a bit more game time.
It was clear how well he was liked by the players with their reaction to his stunning strike against Motherwell but Gerrard will have been more impressed by his second goal, which was a real striker's finish.
He doesn't have the same pressing and harassing abilities of Morelos, but his link up play is good and he's strong in the air. If Rangers change to a 4-2-3-1 as previously mentioned, then with Hagi, Kent and Jones all running around him it could be an interesting proposition for the Ibrox side.
Gerrard challenges Rangers after achieving first Celtic Park double for 23 years .
Rangers lead Celtic by four points at the top of the table, but Steven Gerrard was not getting carried away despite sealing a famous double.Rangers triumphed 2-0 on Saturday thanks to an unlikely double from centre-back Connor Goldson, who scored in each half as a depleted Celtic failed to register a single shot on target.