STEVEN GERRARD admits he will have to be 'careful with one or two' as he prepares for the friendly clash with Partick Thistle.

Rangers begin their pre-season schedule with a trip to Firhill this evening as the champions return to action ahead of the new campaign.

Gerrard has put his squad through their paces at Auchenhowie during the first few days of training and will now see them take to the park once again against Ian McCall's side.

Glasgow Times: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Gerrard told RangersTV: "It’s gone really well. The most important thing at this stage is to get everyone through the first week.

"People are in different places in terms of where they are at from a physical point of view. Some people have had longer rests than others, some have come back with niggles.

"It’s important to be patient now and make sure we manoeuvre everyone through week one. The majority will be involved in the first game against Partick Thistle but we’ll be careful with one or two.

"They could play if it was an important game but because it’s game one of pre-season sometimes you take the more cautious approach with one or two and that’s the reason why one or two won’t be seen against Partick.

"It’s been normal in terms of getting a long break. My experience in the first three years is you get a really short break and then get back for qualifiers and it slaps you in the face quickly and it’s a bit of a shock and you have to get used to it quickly.

"This year is slightly different and more normal because we have a longer rest. We’ve had enough time to soak up what happened last year and think about how we want to look moving forward from a staff point of view.

Glasgow Times: Steven Gerrard

"We’ve had a lot of zoom calls and time together to prepare for the new season. Everyone is re-energised and excited to come back, I think the long break has helped that.

"Everyone is full of confidence and belief because we’re off the back of a successful season but it’s all about moving forward now. It’s my job to make sure everyone is in the right place for the challenges that will come our way."