THE approach - firm but fair - that Steven Gerrard takes to his Press duties as a boss is the same as the one he employed on the park as a player.

Gerrard the midfielder was no stranger to a robust challenge, to putting his body on the line for his team and his team-mates.

So the Rangers manager won’t change his view on how the game should be played now that he is on the other side of the equation.

Gerrard knows where the lines are, though, and knows what should and should not be tolerated these days.

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The challenge from Ricki Lamie that left Joe Aribo requiring 20 stitches in a head wound on Wednesday night wasn’t acceptable. It angered Gerrard and the Ibrox boss won’t sit back and accept incidents that put his players in danger.

“I’m one for physicality if it is channelled in the right way,” Gerrard said on the morning after a 1-0 victory for his side at the Tony Macaroni Arena. “It’s what I believe in.

“I think the game is more exciting if it’s intense and people are being fair and tough. I’m all for that. But at the same time – not just my players, across the league, across the board – players need more protection in terms of these incidents.

“Lamie hasn’t gone in to cause that injury. I’m convinced on that. I’ve watched it back a lot of times. I’ve been up here long enough to know certain players and if they have that nasty streak in them or not. There is no accusation here towards the player at all. But that’s a red card.

“It’s not about intent, it’s about dangerous play. If I put my foot up in someone’s face or whatever, it’s not about me meaning to go and do that but it’s serious foul play, dangerous play, and it’s a red card. For their manager to say that we got away with one, I’m not sure that’s right.”

The crude challenge from Lamie, as the defender led with his elbow and caught Aribo with a sickening blow, was the worst of the night.

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It wasn’t the only one that irked Rangers as Gary Holt’s side once again put themselves about and used a physical approach to try and win.

At Ibrox a fortnight ago, Lyndon Dykes was sent off for two bookings, the second of which was for catching Connor Goldson on the face with a flailing arm in an aerial battle.

“I think in the main, yeah,” Gerrard said when asked if the protection for players was adequate in Scotland. “But we’ve played Livingston twice and there was a yellow card [on Wednesday] night on Connor again for a facial bang.

“There was Joe’s situation and they also got a player sent off for two yellows for the same thing.

“We got the protection at Ibrox because the referee dealt with it in the right way. But I think if the referee sees that again, or if he had the chance to see it again, I think he’d have chosen to make a different decision on that one.”

The tactic of teams trying to use their presence to unsettle teams is not a new one and it is a way of playing that is effective for Livingston.

It can often make, as it did on Wednesday evening, for a poor footballing spectacle though, especially when put to use on the plastic pitch in West Lothian.

“One hundred per cent,” Gerrard, who admitted Filip Helander could have seen red for his challenge on Dykes, responded when asked if he felt that players get away with more in our game.

READ MORE: Steven Gerrard angry with challenge on Joe Aribo that left Rangers midfielder needing 20 stitches in head wound

“That’s for you to debate [whether that is a good thing for Scottish football]. There are two sides to it. It adds to the excitement up here at times. We don’t want the game to be stop-start and ruining the tempo and excitement for the supporters.

“But at the same time, all I ask for is protection across the board. Not just for my team.

“If this was the other way round, I wouldn’t have liked or enjoyed seeing one of the Livingston players going off with 20 stitches. Not at all.

“In any other league in the world, that’s a red card.”

The damage that Aribo suffered forced him off early against Livi. It will have longer lasting consequences for the midfielder, though, and he will definitely miss the Premiership fixture with Aberdeen this weekend.

Gerrard said: “It’s a difficult one to put a timeframe on it because you don’t know how long it’s going to take to heal. But the cut has basically gone right through to the bone.

“He has had 20 stitches on it right after the game. It’s unfortunate because he’s obviously missed a big chunk of [the] game, which he was excited to play in, and he will miss a big fixture at the weekend against Aberdeen.

“And it could affect him from an international point of view which would be a real shame. So I’m gutted for him.”