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‘We can’t blame Umar’ – Gerrard defends Sadiq's display after Scottish League Cup exit

1:29 PM GMT 29/10/2018
Sadiq Umar
The 21-year-old was handed his first start of the season on Sunday evening but failed to make an impact on the result

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is satisfied with Sadiq Umar’s performance despite being heavily criticised for Rangers’ 1-0 loss to Aberdeen in their Scottish League Cup semi-final.

Prior to the game, Gerrard stated that he was pleased with the 21-year-old’s improvement in training after initial critic about his attitude.

And the former Liverpool coach handed the youngster a chance to lead the Ibrox outfit attack following the absence of Kyle Lafferty and Alfredo Morelos.

The Roma loanee was in action for the entire duration of Sunday's game and had a golden chance to cancel out Lewis Ferguson's opener for Aberdeen in the second half.

After being played through on goal, Umar attempted to round goalkeeper Lewis but went to the ground and was booked for diving in the 83rd minute - a scenario that left fans to fault his abilities.

When questioned about the forward’s display, Gerrard said per Express: “To be fair to Umar, in the last two or three weeks he had shown signs of improvement. Whether it’s enough, we’ll have to judge that moving forward

“His performance up until the final bit of today was OK. We can’t point fingers and blame Umar.”

The former Liverpool and England international also advised the Nigeria youth international on his finishing after being punished for diving.

“What I would say to him is if you go around the keeper, stand up and put the ball in the net. Don’t dive or you are going to get a yellow card.”

Meanwhile, Wigan Athletic midfielder Josh Windass and former Hibernian forward Tam McManus have slammed Umar who has just three appearances this season for falling in the penalty area.