STEVEN GERRARD reckons a 'tailored programme' will help get the best out of striker Jermain Defoe this term.

The 38-year-old returned to the starting line-up against Livingston on Sunday and produced a sublime finish to help Rangers on their way to victory at Ibrox.

Boss Gerrard added Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten to his ranks this summer and was able to retain the services of Alfredo Morelos.

Defoe won't feature in the Europa League this season but Gerrard is sure he will still have a significant part to play in the coming months.

He said: "I think it’s fantastic to have those options. I think it’s the first time I’ve had this luxury of this volume of strikers available.

"I’m hoping we stay in competitions for a long time to have a big volume of games and keep them all happy.

"This is the challenge of the job. The job I get paid to do is to pick players when I see they are in good form, working hard and showing on a daily basis on the training pitch that they are ready to start games.

"Jermain has had quite a few injuries of late and he is a player we have to manage. He understands that.

"It was a good performance at the weekend with a world-class goal. He is finally in the place this season we have wanted him in for a long time.

"But it doesn’t make sense to ask Jermain to go Thursday-Sunday-Thursday-Sunday at his age and with the injuries he’s had of late.

"We have made a decision to give him a tailored programme, a bit different from the rest, so he can put in performances like the weekend."