RANGERS have seen enough to offer their manager a lucrative new contract to take him through to the summer of 2024. But Steven Gerrard is well aware that it is days like today at Hampden which will ultimately determine whether his time at Ibrox is seen as a success or a failure.

While the Englishman inherited a side at Ibrox with a number of disadvantages on their historic rivals Celtic, that didn't mean he was granted additional time to turn things around.

Perhaps like Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs, he has made definite strides in developing a team and a squad without actually lifting any silverware to date, but can you really be regarded as a success at a club the size of Rangers if you don’t actually win anything? That is why Gerrard knows today at Hampden represents a Judgement Day of sorts for his reign.

“You don’t have a lot of time, I have to accept that,” said Gerrard. That’s the pressure that I am under. I need to win as quickly as I can. I am not going to be a manager that sits here and plays the victim because their wage bill is bigger than ours and blah, blah, blah.

“My job and challenge here was ‘Could I build a team to compete?’ I think, on certain occasions, we have done that against this opposition. We’ve also been very competitive when big challenges have faced us from a European point of view.

“Are we there yet? Are we the finished article? Is it where I wanted it? No. I wouldn’t say it’s been brilliant, but we’ve made progress for sure. I still want to keep trying to fine-tune it, to improve it, grow it and make us even more competitive than we are now, but I have still got to try to deliver now.

“That’s life being the Rangers manager and I accept that. I am not a manager who has come in and asked for a project or a certain amount of years. I have accepted the fact you are under that pressure to win. I will be judged on that once this Rangers job comes to an end. I will be judged on days like Sunday.”

Asked specifically if he would regard himself as a failure if he was unable to lift any silverware, Gerrard said: “I don’t know, I’ll cross that bridge if I have to. For me, I get a buzz and a drive to try and win and be the best that I can be. I understand people will have an opinion on whether that’s a success or a failure but I don’t really wake up in the morning and concern myself with what people write. I get up and try and be the best manager I can be and I’ll let other people judge if that’s a success or a failure.”

His task will be considerably easier if a couple of key men come through training unscathed in order to declare their availability for the match. Neither Borna Barisic or Steven Davis would be easy to replace if they don’t make it. “There are still one or two we’re waiting on and we’ll see if they get through tomorrow’s session,” Gerrard said on Friday. “Barisic has done a light session so we’re hopeful on it but we’ll see if he gets through a full session.”

With the margins between the teams appearing wafer thin this season, Gerrard has had his penalties practising penalties. He feels it is impossible, however, to replicate the sensation of actually walking out to hit them and doesn’t have a list of penalty takes ready.

“I believe in practising them, you have to tick the box if you like and give players the feeling of taking one,” said Gerrard. “But it’s impossible to replicate the moment and the emotion of when extra-time has gone and you’re one of the five penalties, it’s very difficult to practice that environment. If someone can tell me a way of practising that I’m all ears.

“We’ll decide the players closer to the time. But the first thing is to get people ready. Once I’ve got my final squad picked then that will be one of the jobs I’ll have to do but I’ve got a good idea who I’d look to rely on if that situation crops up.”