Steven Gerrard has warned Alfredo Morelos that a record of one goal every three games this season is “not enough”, with the Colombian one shy of 100 goals for Rangers.
Morelos was noticeably sluggish as Rangers slipped to a 1-1 draw against Hearts at Ibrox on Saturday. His latest attempt to reach three figures will come as Brøndby visit Ibrox on Europa League business on Thursday. Gerrard said it was “quite obvious” Morelos was “not at his best”.
In other environments, five goals from 15 games this season would be seen as a decent return but Gerrard has called on Rangers’ main striker to deliver more. Rangers have scored 15 goals in nine Scottish Premiership matches, which is six fewer than Celtic despite Gerrard’s team sitting four points ahead of their oldest foes.
“Five in 15 is not enough for me,” said Gerrard. “Not just from him, I think we need to score more goals. All our strikers. We are at Rangers here; the chances that we are creating I would expect the guy who has played the majority of the minutes as a No 9 to have more than five in 15. They are stats that we need to improve on moving forward.
“We have to keep providing the service and the chances for Alfredo to get more goals. But if you look at previous number nines and also Alfredo’s record in other seasons, it has been better than five in 15. I am sure Alfredo himself, and certainly myself and the coaching staff and our attacking unit in terms of our No 9s, we want to get more goals.”
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Gerrard will be without Glen Kamara, who was sent off during the recent 1-0 defeat by Sparta Prague. Uefa opted to take no action against the Czech club, despite routine booing of Kamara from a stadium full of children.
Gerrard, asked whether he was surprised or disappointed over Uefa’s stance, said: “Probably a bit of both. I have said it before and I will say it again: I don’t think the punishments are big enough for this type of stuff, not just in this game [and] in terms of the Glen incident. As a whole, I don’t think the punishments for racism are enough and that is the reason why it won’t be totally eradicated out of the game any time soon.”