THE statistics give an insight into the progress and improvements but only tell part of the story. Steven Gerrard knows there is one glaring omission from his Rangers record so far.

The fixture with Hearts at Tynecastle tomorrow will be Gerrard's 100th in charge and he referenced the old cliche about time flying when you are having fun when asked about the landmark at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

The months have indeed gone by in the blink of an eye and Gerrard has given supporters many moments to cherish. Just three European games have been lost out of 28, while he has a win ratio of 61 per cent as the number of goals scored has increased and the rate at which they are conceded has dropped further from what was an encouraging first campaign last term.

Those figures are backed up by the clear improvements that punters and pundits see with the naked eye. Gerrard knows there has to be a silver lining sooner rather than later.

"I think at a lot of football clubs the stats would be really, really good and strong," he said. "But you know and I know what you get judged on at this football club. 

"I have never, ever shied away from that. That is the responsibility and pressure I live with it every day, but it is the pressure and responsibility I wanted and that I enjoy. 

"We will continue to fight for it. There has been a lot of success in Europe in terms of where we were and where Scottish football was.

"To qualify the first season and then do it again, competing against some of the opposition we have come up against, the players have done incredibly well. 

"We were really close in a cup final that didn’t go our way. So we can smell it, feel we are getting close to it, but we need to keep working hard and performing at this level and consistency. Hopefully it won’t be too far away."

The appointment of Gerrard sparked huge debate as his lack of managerial experience was highlighted. It was a risk for Rangers, but the rewards have come as the Liverpool legend has transformed the club on and off the park.

Mistakes have been made and learned from and in Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp, Gerrard has one of several sounding boards.

“I don’t think it was bravery," he said of his decision to become manager. "It was my choice. If I end up being a dud, I end up being a dud. I have to accept that and take whatever criticism that comes my way.

"That isn’t something I can control. There are always going to be opinions, good bad and indifferent and you have to take that. Over the years I have better with that  and I am not so thin-skinned – as a young player I was a lot more fiery and if someone said I didn’t play well I would have been jumping out of my seat. I have learned about the game and I know how it works and I have even dipped my toe into your side of things so I know you need to give opinions and all the rest of it. 

"But over time I have become ready for this role whether it goes incredibly well or whether I am a dud, I will take whatever comes my way. One thing is for sure, when I made that choice whether I was brave or not, I will commit to it. I didn’t just get a phonecall on it and go ‘well, yeah,’. I thought it through. 

"I also know what might suit me and what might not suit me and it is over to me to try and make it work.”

One of the conversations with Klopp centred on the overwhelming impact management would have on Gerrard's life. It is a fine balance, but it is being struck.

Gerrard said: "Listen, I will be honest and frank with you and there are many challenges that come with this role and one of the biggest challenges for me is managing my family and my time.

"I have got four kids and a big family that do like to see me so one of my biggest challenges is managing that side. But in terms of the city and me being settled, I love the city. It is very similar to what I am used to and where I am from and I am really enjoying my time here. But one of the biggest factors for me, for my own happiness and my family, is managing that time."