IT is the month that Rangers have waited ten years to experience. The coming days and weeks are what Steven Gerrard signed up for at Ibrox.

A run of five fixtures is not the most hectic or draining schedule that Rangers have been through in Gerrard’s tenure, but it is a sequence that will define it now that progress in Europe and success in Scotland is within touching distance.

The opportunities that lie ahead for Rangers at present are the rewards for their efforts over the campaign and this is the first time that Gerrard’s side have been competitive at the business end of the season. It is a situation he could easily have never found himself in.

In March of his first term in charge, Rangers would draw three and lose two of their five games as their silverware chances disappeared. Aberdeen would beat Gerrard’s side at Ibrox after a Scottish Cup draw at Pittodrie, four points were squandered against Hibernian and Kilmarnock and when Celtic won the Old Firm clash at Parkhead, the title was gone.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

Last season produced a similar tale of woe for Gerrard as Rangers were left reeling from the Scottish Cup defeat to Hearts. On the leap year day, Gerrard had the look of a man that could be set to jump rather than be pushed.

The 1-0 defeat to Hamilton a couple of days later was arguably the lowest point of Gerrard’s reign and there was real pressure on his shoulders at that time. A win over Ross County was inconsequential and the defeat to Bayer Leverkusen largely irrelevant but there were doubts seeping through over whether Gerrard was the man to deliver the success that he is now just days away from securing.



As the Coronavirus pandemic changed the face of the nation, Rangers had time to take stock. The same can be said for Gerrard and the weeks in lockdown gave him a chance to regroup and refocus ahead of his third shot at the title.

In a world of breaking news and instant reaction, Rangers needed the breathing space that the pandemic offered. They had come so far and were closer than ever before and events of recent months prove that Gerrard was always the right man to turn Rangers from challengers into champions.

Few would have predicted it would be achieved in such a manner but the progress individually and collectively in the last year speaks volumes about Gerrard as a manager. He has taken the punches and will now hold aloft the title at the third time of asking.

With no Premiership fixture at the weekend, Gerrard and his players have had plenty of time to prepare for the trip to Livingston on Wednesday evening and they will make that journey knowing that they stand on the brink of history.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

A goalless draw at the Tony Macaroni Arena back in August resulted in the first dropped points of the campaign for Rangers.



Coming just four games into the season, it was never going to be a stumble that proved definitively costly, but it was one which saw supporters raise concerns about whether lessons had been learned from previous failures.

Now, those same fans will be wondering why they had worried in the first place. Just six points – courtesy of draws away to Hibernian, Motherwell and Hamilton – have been lost since and the fact that Rangers remain unbeaten in the Premiership now that the calendar has been flipped into March is a remarkable achievement.

That the same can be said in terms of the Europa League is even more noteworthy. The road to the last 16 has had many twists and turns, but Rangers remain on track to surpass their achievement of last term as they set their sights on a quarter-final berth.

It was in the aftermath of the victory over Royal Antwerp last Thursday evening that Gerrard was asked about this month and what it could mean for his squad and the club and he spoke about going one or two steps further on the continent.

The meeting with Slavia Prague is not one that Rangers can take lightly, but Gerrard would never allow them to in any case. The first leg at the Sinobo Stadium next Thursday gives Rangers a chance to set themselves up for the return at Ibrox seven days later and a place in the last eight is certainly not beyond them this season.

In a domestic sense, Gerrard referenced the ‘noise’ on the outside as he hinted at the one game at a time mantra that has taken his side so far. He would also speak of the determination to capitalise on the opportunities that had presented themselves and how Rangers would be a ‘very special place’ if they could achieve their aims.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

The Slavia fixtures are bookended by the Premiership clashes with St Mirren and Celtic. A win over Livingston would leave Rangers requiring a maximum of four more to win the Premiership.

Victory against the Buddies would mean any slip-up from Celtic at Tannadice on Sunday would see Gerrard’s side crowned champions. If not, Rangers will only need a point at Parkhead to win their first league flag in a decade and that will be the ultimate way to round off a month that could be memorable in more ways than one.

It has always been a matter of when rather than if Rangers would win their next title. That was true during the barren years and has been the case during a ruthless and relentless campaign that has taken Gerrard’s side to this point.

The Premiership job will be finished in March and Rangers could yet reach new levels in the Europa League. The wait for this month will all be worth it.