Steven Gerrard says Alfredo Morelos' return boosts Rangers ahead of Kilmarnock replay
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 19/02/19 10:41am
Steven Gerrard says the return of top scorer Alfredo Morelos is a much-needed boost for Rangers ahead of their Scottish Cup fifth-round replay against Kilmarnock.
Rangers were held to a goalless draw at Rugby Park earlier this month and also lost ground to Celtic in the race for the Premiership title after drawing 0-0 with St Johnstone on Saturday.
Morelos missed both matches after being sent off against Aberdeen during the 4-2 win at Pittodrie on February 6 and the Colombian will also be suspended for the club's next league fixture against Hamilton on Sunday after losing his appeal.
However, he is free to face Kilmarnock at Ibrox on Wednesday night and Gerrard says his striker is champing at the bit to return to first-team action.
"On the evidence of yesterday's training session, yes he looked very sharp," said Gerrard. "He doesn't like missing football matches, he doesn't like missing training.
"It is a nice boost for everyone to have him back because the weekend's performance, certainly in the final third, we didn't show enough.
"You always miss Alfredo Morelos. The form he's in, he's obviously the leading scorer. He's in incredible form.
"We've had situations with suspensions throughout the season which are not helpful for him, for us and the club.
"It is important we get him on the pitch as much as we can because he is a hell of a threat and he makes us a lot stronger."
Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson hit out at the "inconsistency" of the SFA disciplinary system after goalkeeper Allan McGregor was unsuccessful in appealing a violent conduct charge from the win over Aberdeen.
Robertson called on all Premiership clubs to come together to push through change at the SFA and Gerrard says he fully backs the club's stance.
"I don't think we're putting a timescale on it or saying that something has to happen fast," said Gerrard.
"I'm totally behind the managing director and the statement. It is something that has come above me, this has been going on for a long time before I've come in.
"The board are handling it and I trust them on it and we move forward like that. My focus is on Kilmarnock."
Gerrard is confident Scott Arfield will be able to feature against Kilmarnock after recovering from a dead leg, but the former Liverpool captain is less certain about the availability of Ryan Jack, who is struggling with an ankle injury.
"Scotty Arfield will train this morning so we're hoping he will come through and be available," said Gerrard.
"Ryan Jack is still a big doubt but he will do some work today. He won't do the full session but he will do some work then we'll assess him after that.
"I'd play Ryan if he wasn't 100 per cent but I wouldn't risk him in terms of his body and creating further damage and have a longer period out.
"However, if Jacko says to me, 'I'm not perfect but I'm prepared to have a go', then he's certainly one I'd probably go with because he's a winner and a fighter and someone I trust out there."