STEVEN Gerrard has told Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe that neither will be assured of a starting place for Rangers this season after his in-form strike pair destroyed Hibernian.

Defoe, now 36, scored a hat-trick and his replacement, Morelos, got a late double as the Ibrox crowd witnessed a 6-1 win for the home side. Sheyi Ojo also found the target.

This was Rangers best performance against Hibs, so often a bogey side, since both returned to the Premiership on a day when the manager was delighted he had so many options upfront – although he hinted one more striker could come in.

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Gerrard said: “It was always the plan to have two strikers as we do. That’s what I told Jermaine when I got him here and why he wanted him at the club. For us to have success here, we can’t rely on one striker. 

“For sure, you need two that are as good, hungry and dangerous as one another. They will have to understand that it’s horses for courses. Sometimes Jermain will suit an opposition and sometimes it will be Alfredo because he will suit.

“I need to make sure I get those decisions right. For sure, we are going to need both of them fighting if we are to have any ambitions of moving forward. 

"There is maybe an argument that we need a third (striker) but we have other options who can play there.”

Defoe, voted man of the match, is 37 later this year but his manager does not believe this season will his swansong.

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Gerrard said: “I get the age. But, for me, the important thing is how you feel. How old is your body? If you’ve never touched a drop of alcohol in your life and are as hungry as Jermain Defoe, age never comes into my thinking.

“I don’t think ‘he’s 36 so can’t start or play two games on the road’ I just think that I know this player, his hunger, his professionalism. He can score goals for Rangers for this season and, if I can predict, next season as well.”

Gerrard was happy with almost all of his team’s performance. Hibs did get themselves back not the game, Daryl Horgan scoring before half-time, and went down to ten men when Sean Mackie was sent off, but this was a dominant performance by Rangers.

Gerrard said: “I am extremely pleased. Beside a ten-minute spell at the backend of the first half, I thought we were outstanding. 

"We looked really dangerous going forward. That’s how I want us to look, to look like a threat all the time, getting people in one-versus-one position, strikers being clinical.

“Their defence has had a really tough 90 minutes today and that’s the way it’s got to look (for us). Apart from the ten-minute spell, I’m actually disappointed we didn’t score more. Every time we went forward, we looked dangerous.

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I’m sure there will be times when we suffer a bump and it doesn’t go according to plan. I’m not going to sit here and say everything’s fantastic, that we’ve solved all our problems.

“We are still evolving, growing and improving. But you can see the way we’ve tried to shape the squad that we have more options in the final third, hungry options.

“Jordan Jones didn’t get many numbers today in terms of assists or goals, but he was outstanding. Look at our second goal, it was a great move.

“Greg Stewart came on, got an assist and could have had a goal. Alfredo came on and scored two. Scott Arfield was left out ahead of Thursday, so it’s a nice place to be. But that doesn’t mean everything is perfect.”