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Gerrard: Crowd trouble threatens Scottish football's image

The Rangers boss says the international reputation of the game in Scotland is at stake.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is concerned that repeated crowd trouble could damage the image of Scottish football internationally as well as at home.

There have been several incidents in recent weeks, with a bottle thrown at Celtic's Scott Sinclair at Easter Road and Partick Thistle investigating reports of coin-throwing during the cup tie against Hearts.

On top of other incidents throughout the season, Gerrard says it has to be stamped out to maintain the positive image of the game around the world.

"I have said it in my last couple of press conferences and I will echo it again that it is not nice to see," Gerrard said.

"Scottish football is shown round the world and when you speak about Scottish football and games up here to people they are excited about what they see, the standard, the intensity and they talk about all the positives.

"We don't want to get in a situation where people are talking about what is coming from the stands and talking about the bad side of the game.

"It is important that we keep trying to have a positive image of the game around the world.

"It is not just about me and what I think, it is about the image around the world.

"In the main, I think we are in a good place. There have been a few isolated incidents that have crept in recently but let's hope that doesn't snowball and that type of behaviour continues - then we have got a big problem.

"It is not nice to see from the side. I have had some experiences as a player; it is poor behaviour and we need to stamp it out."

Rangers were billed by Aberdeen for damaged seats in the away section at Pittodrie last week and when asked about trouble at that game, Gerrard said: "I don't want to get involved where I am talking about this every press conference that I do.

"I have been very clear about the behaviour of all sets of supporters.

"I don't want to repeat myself. We need to stamp it out all over the world, not just here."

Ryan Jack won't be rushed into action

Gerrard has also vowed not to risk Ryan Jack's fitness by playing the midfielder against Hibs on Friday if the Rangers midfielder isn't ready.

Jack underwent scans to determine the nature of the injury he picked up against Aberdeen and there were fears he had broken a bone. However, Gerrard says the player has avoided anything serious but won't be hurried back into action.

"He's got a knock at the moment and he's still sore," he said. "He will try and do some training today but I'll have to make a decision on Ryan because we've got a big week coming up.

"I'll chat to him after training and see how he feels, see if there's any kind of reaction and then I'll make a decision.

"I'll give him every chance but I'll also be careful because he's very important to us. I don't want to take a risk with him."

And the Rangers boss responded to speculation about Alfredo Morelos' future, saying it was a positive that clubs were being linked with an interest.

"He puts a smile on my face when I get out of bed and go into training to work with him because he's such a top, top player," Gerrard said. "That's all I've got to say on it really because the interest and speculation is not going to go away.

"That's something we have to live with but we certainly see it as a compliment because I would be more concerned and worried if no one was interested in my players."

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