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Gerrard calls on Rangers to make Ibrox a 'fortress'

The Light Blues lost seven times at home for the first time in over 100 years last season.

Steven Gerrard has called on his Rangers players to make Ibrox a "fortress" this season.

The Light Blues suffered seven defeats on their own patch last campaign for the first time in over 100 years.

St Mirren are the visitors this weekend for Gerrrard's home Premiership bow and Gerrard is determined get off to a winning start to lay the foundations for a strong season in Govan.

He said: "These are games we have to win and take maximum points from.

"The idea is to try and make Ibrox a fortress.

"The mentality has to be whatever team comes to Ibrox we need to own the stadium, we need to perform like a Rangers team should perform which is on the front foot and aggressive.

"We're not good enough at the moment and we haven't been good enough of late in terms of the last few years to pick and choose our games when we turn up.

"We can't just think 'oh it's a big game today we'll turn up'.

"Every single game at Ibrox is big, whether it be in the league, the cup, the Europa League, that has to be the mentality.

"Whoever comes into our stadium has to feel this new Rangers team."

Rangers bagged a 3-1 win over Maribor in the Europa League third round qualifier first leg on Thursday evening.

James Tavernier and Lassana Coulibaly struck after half-time to hand the Premiership side the advantage.

Gerrard reasoned that the second-half display was the best he has overseen since arriving in Glasgow.

He added: "I think to be fair to the players they're trying to make the supporters proud of the team.

"They understand that they haven't been at it for the last couple of seasons and the fans demand more and expectations are high.

"I feel that with every home game we're growing and getting a little bit more confidence and belief in ourselves.

"The second-half performance was the strongest we've looked.

"The challenge for us is to see if we can play with that aggression and intensity for 90 minutes and really become a strong consistent team at home."

The Buddies' visit will see Gerrard and Alan Stubbs go head-to-head once more after the pair faced off as players in the Merseyside derby.

Former Liverpool skipper Gerrard expects the ex-Everton defender to be motivated by the prospect of getting one over his old adversary.

Gerrard, who confirmed Ryan Jack will miss the match, said: "We live in a similar area back in Liverpool so I know Alan quite well.

"He's a good football man, he had a fantastic career, he's cutting it now in management.

"I've got a lot of respect for him. I'm looking forward to the challenge. I know he'll be desperate to get one up on me and get a good result for his team.

"St Mirren will be a different challenge, they'll come with a good organisation.

"I watched them last week against Dundee and they got a very good win so I'm sure the confidence is high coming to Ibrox and they'll be looking to get a shock results."

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