A MANAGER who does not command respect from the dressing room is a dead man walking.

He can be popular, clever and even tactically aware, but if his players don’t have that great esteem the top man needs, mixed with a bit of fear of their gaffer, then it’s not going to work.

Rangers know this better than most.

Steven Gerrard wouldn’t have had to mutter a single word to his squad on that first day of training to get over the message that he was The Boss.

I think this is why more punters have backed Rangers to win the league than even Celtic.

I must say, I raised a wry smile when I heard that. Anyone who has read this column will know that time and again I have warned against the Rangers supporters getting carried away, simply because the gap to Celtic is, and has been, so huge.

However, I’ve got to admit that even me, someone who has preached keeping feet on the ground, getting as excited as the supporters about what MIGHT happen and while I’m happy with the players brought in, my positivity is growing because of Gerrard.

I believe this to be the best Rangers squad in a decade – you read that right - and at long last there are some leaders on the pitch, so badly missing, and players who can put in a proper tackle.

Gerrard is missing just one player, I believe, a big centre-forward and once he signs one I think he will be happy with that. I expect something to happen with regards to this pretty soon.

Rangers have a chance next season. I now honestly believe that. Recruitment has been good and I’m told the players have bought into what their new manager is preaching.

As if they have a choice.

Gerrard has clearly not been fazed by the size of Rangers, and the demands and expectations placed on any manager of that football club. This is a Liverpool legend we are talking about here and so this is his kind of environment.

And if someone has some doubts about whether they want to be a part of it, then they know where the door is.

This is why I believe Josh Windass will leave if Cardiff City or another club bid £3m for a midfielder.

Even if he is 50/50 about making a move, he goes. Rangers is not for him and he would leave with my best wishes.

Gerrard was a 100 per cent player and that’s what he wants from his players. Total commitment to Rangers.

Bruno Alves is a player who has been accused of lacking commitment; however, I am not convinced that we have seen the last of the Portuguese.

I fancy Gerrard will play with a three-man defence and that is why I feel the veteran defender might be kept on.

I will end on a sad note.

Harold Davis, a Rangers legend, passed away this week and I would like to pass on my condolences to his family and friends.

Harold was a proper gentleman and will be missed by all the Rangers family.