'If he gives you something, you must do it well' - Rangers coach lifts the lid on working with Gerrard

Steven Gerrard Rangers 2019-20

One of Steven Gerrard's first-team coaches at Rangers has lifted the lid on working under the Liverpool midfield legend, describing his record as 'incredible', and praising the work ethic and obsession in his Ibrox boss.

Michael Beale joined Gerrard in Glasgow having first crossed paths with the Champions League winner during his time working in the Liverpool under-age ranks, and after experiencing his first role in the senior game working with legendary Brazilian goalkeeper-turned-coach Rogerio Ceni at Sao Paulo.

Working alongside Gerrard has added to Beale's expertise as a coach and he believes that the former England captain is destined to match his success on the pitch in the dugout.

"After working with an idol like Rogerio Ceni in his own country, it felt like doing the same again with Steven," Beale told Goal. "They are like rock stars; they are so famous. To work with them every day and get their insight is fantastic.

"What I see from Steven is an obsession to get better. It is no secret why he was such a good player. He is obsessed with the game, has empathy and he is a leader with a good work ethic. He has good people he works with and he trusts people to do their jobs.

"If he gives you something, you must do it well. The professionalism he has around people is fantastic. The key attribute is he is composed under pressure. He talks well, is precise and honest. These are good traits that are in any top people I have been around.

"How he manages the changing room is really good and he is a very good coach but he wants to stand back and assess players. He comes in and says his points at different times. It gives me some autonomy to do our training in the long term, along with the other coaches, in planning and implementing.

"At the moment, I think he is helping me grow and learn. I hope I am helping him structurally and with ideas on the pitch. I like to watch the games upstairs in the first half to get a different angle from Steven down there.

"I have had that wow feeling about Ibrox. We have had a lot of memorable games in Europe and the Old Firm in a short period. If you look at other similar young managers, Steven has only lost something like 17 games in 117 [18 in 114, ed].

"That’s incredible even compared to Frank Lampard and Patrick Vieira. If you look at your Harry Kewells, Robbie Fowler and Garry Monk, he is 18 months out of it and he has been really good."

Ianis Hagi Rangers Braga

Former Liverpool and Chelsea academy coach Beale thinks Rangers' slump ahead of the coronavirus-enforced stoppage came due to a hefty schedule which saw them play 53 games before the break.

This he puts down in part to Rangers' impressive Europa League run; they made it out of the group stage in December and beat Braga in a last-minute flurry to progress to the last 16 of the competition.

The Gers since met their match against Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, who won the first leg 3-1 at Ibrox before the Covid-19 outbreak. Nonetheless, Beale remains convinced that Gerrard and his team are making progress.

"It has been a massive whirlwind," Beale said of this Rangers season. "We have had unbelievable highs and now through a period where we haven’t been able to play our strongest team.

"The fact that people don’t realise is that we have played 53 games this season which is more games than any team. We played Bayer Leverkusen and they have played 20 games less than us.

"Our starting XI can play at a very high level whether against Porto, Feyenoord or the Old Firm games. They have grown as a group very quickly. We feel it is a sheer number of games. By comparison, Barcelona and Real Madrid have played 37.

"The weight on our players is huge: that’s a reduction in training time and finding that consistency level is difficult. We need to find more competition for places for our best players. We have done extremely well but no one will pat us on the back because of the league that we are in.

"We are in a two club battle domestically, let’s be honest. We played very well in a cup final against Celtic and it was the most one-sided final maybe in history that a team loses. We are moving forward; we have young players people respect, we have built respect in Europe.

"We have lowered the average age and we are growing the interest in the Scottish league again. Still, we need more consistency like we have had in our big games. We need to find that level of performance that we have had over a 50-60 game season.

"We have made shortcuts, gains and got people excited and raised expectations."

Ryan Kent Sporting Braga Rangers UEFA Europa League

Traditionally seen as a giant of European football, Rangers now struggle to compete even with English Championship clubs over transfer fees due to the financial situation around the Scottish Premiership.

Their strategy revolves around attempting to sign younger players, such as Ianis Hagi - son of Romanian legend Gheorge - who looks set to join from Genk on a permanent basis once Rangers take up a £4.7 million (€5.3m/$5.8m) option to buy.

"We have an option to buy and Ianis is here and he wants to be here," Beale added. "He is becoming a man. He is a great talent with great technique in his right foot and left foot. He has an eye for a pass; he has moments of magic in him.

"You can see what he is born into with his talent in the blood. I think in the next two or three years, he is slightly behind [Ryan] Kent and [Joe] Aribo. In two years, where will his body be? His mind gets it, he sees passes, he gets the tactics and uses the right balls.

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"I am excited to work with him more. He can go onto what he wants to do in the game. It is about finding a club that’s right for him and I think we are that. We are the ideal fit for him right now.

"I think financially we have to be very open with our recruitment. We don’t get anywhere near what even the Championship teams get. We have a lot of top Under-23s players, Brandon Barker, Ryan Kent, Joe Aribo.

"These are players that were either struggling for a breakthrough or needed a career before a career. It is very much the same at the other big club Celtic, Moussa Dembele came in from Fulham before moving on. Victor Wanyama and Virgil Van Dijk did the same. Odsonne Edouard is a very good player also."