STEVEN GERRARD has enough to worry about behind the gates of Auchenhowie to concern himself too much with what is going on in the world away from Rangers.

There will undoubtedly be some crossover of opinions when it comes to assessing the issues that have undermined the champions thus far and the pressure is on ahead of the meeting with Motherwell.

But Gerrard won't accept theories that his players haven't attempted to come out swinging when they have found themselves on the canvas during a difficult start to the campaign.

A hat-trick of defeats in the matches with Malmo and Dundee United put Rangers on the back foot in August but only once since then - when they drew with Motherwell after losing to Lyon - have they followed up one bad result with another.

Yet their longest winning run stands at just three matches - against Dunfermline, Alashkert and Ross County - and no real momentum has been built as a result of performance levels that have fluctuated within fixtures and across competitions.

The post-mortem in the aftermath of any draw or defeat, or even in victory, is always harsh at Ibrox. Supporters are entitled to their opinions, but Gerrard has his own views on the situation after the first 20 games of the campaign.

"I will have to have a different opinion on that than yourself, if that is your own personal opinion," Gerrard replied when asked about his players not coming out fighting after setbacks this season.

"I think if you listen to a lot of stuff on social media and outside noise sitting in my position, I think your point is certainly believable.

"From the inside, I see a group of boys that are willing to work hard and fight as hard as they can.

"It is an absolute pleasure to work with a team that has lost one league domestic game in 50. I haven’t heard that or seen that written on the outside.

"I think sometimes it is a case of perception but, in my job, I believe is a lot of fight, a lot of characters, a lot of good players in my group and I have got every belief and confidence that we can move forward.

"Yes, we have got issues to fix and address. Yes, we have had some challenging times and setbacks, fixtures and results together. I always like to be honest.

"But what I would say is that your personal opinion has come from perception and noise from the outside of the this group."

Had there been one clear and obvious fault with Rangers' preparation or execution this season then the issues would have been far easier to diagnose and rectify.

The champions are out of sync in all areas of the park, though, and the heights that were hit last season now seem beyond a side searching for a spark heading into the next tranche of Premiership fixtures.

Rangers have conceded first in games on eight occasions this season and a defence that was once so resolute is giving up chances and goals all too regularly.

That was clearly a point of concern against Aberdeen in midweek. So was their lack of guile in attack, however, as another two points were meekly surrendered.

“What we have here is a group where if there is an individual mistake, no one will shy away from that," Gerrard said. “We have a group of honest lads who will take ownership of that.

“Sometimes it’s clear to see that someone has made an individual mistake.

“For me, it’s not about pointing fingers at any individuals. It’s about trying to fix the collective.

“How can we get back to our best in terms of our identity and our shape? How can we get everyone back doing that all over the pitch?

“My job is to fix the collective. In any team and in any game it’s imperative that you cut out any individual mistakes.

“I believe our good attacking play will become more creative off our organisation because when we are at our best we do both sides of the game really well.

“Any draw at Rangers isn’t an acceptable result, whether you are playing Benfica, Porto, Motherwell, Aberdeen or Celtic.

“I’ve never known a draw to be good enough or acceptable at this football club so I don’t see that changing in the next 48 hours.

“The reality is, on the outside, the demands and expectations are to win every game. That’s the way it is and we accept that.”

By the time Rangers take to the field at Fir Park on Sunday afternoon, Gerrard's side are likely to have lost their place at the summit of the standings.

Gerrard insisted in midweek he was excited at the prospect of attempting to solve the puzzle and finding the answers that will allow the champions to move through the gears once again.

He knows what his players are capable of individually and collectively. They must now show it sooner rather than later.

Gerrard said: “From an attacking point of view, we need to have more variety and give opposition teams different issues and problems to think about.

“We have certain principles of play and certain non-negotiables that don’t change whatever your system, whatever your personnel.

“So when I’m alluding to our identity, it’s more getting back into that. Once you get your principles right, I believe we’ve got the variety and the personnel to throw different issues and problems at teams.

“It is something we are working on and working towards but these things don’t happen overnight. That’s the challenge and opportunity, especially when there are certain things to address and fix.

“We see it on the inside as an opportunity to get better and improve. We don’t really worry too much that too much is wrong or listen to opinions on the outside. Because if you do, you think the world’s going to end very shortly."