Steven Davis on the Rangers form puzzle they must solve as midfielder urges teammates to put down ‘markers’ – Daily Record

Midfield general Steven Davis insists Rangers must learn from their mistakes if they are to cope with the pressure of halting Old Firm rivals Celtics 10-in-a-row bid.

The Ibrox men are gunning for a first title under Steven Gerrard and to stop Celtic from making history.

Northern Ireland captain Davis knows what it takes to win titles at Rangers, having done so three times during his first spell at the club from 2008 to 2012.

He warns the Ibrox side cant afford another slump after the New Year break like last season that allowed the Hoops to pull clear on the road to 9 In A Row.

He insists Rangers must show their quality and bottle.

Davis senses the club are raring to go again after last season ended so dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic that halted all football.

Celtic were well ahead in the table when the virus crisis hit in March but Rangers felt aggrieved the Bhoys were awarded a ninth successive title without all the games being played.

Davis and his team-mates have been back training since mid-June and he is relishing what lies ahead, knowing full well that Rangers cannot perform as they did after last terms winter break.

The 35-year-old said: We were disappointed the season was curtailed but now we have a massive season ahead. We need to try and build for that and get as much work in as possible.

The season ahead is going to be huge. We know the importance of it and how it will be vital for us to deal with that pressure.

In the first half of last season we were excellent.

But we need to figure out why we did not keep that up in the second half of the season

We cannot continue that form. We must step up to the challenge.

We already have ability in our squad and I am sure the manager will be looking to add more quality that will give everyone a lift for the title race.

Davis offered an insight into the first few weeks of training at Rangers and it is evident Gerrard is working hard to ensure the players are physically ready for an August restart.

But he has also been working on the tactical side and Davis said: Everybody has looked after themselves during the lockdown and come back ready to go again.

We were given programmes by the club tough ones and the boys have come back in good shape.

At this stage it is about getting as fit as possible and trying to be as well prepared in terms of how we are going to play tactically.

During the season it was difficult to do that because of the number of the games we were involved in.

Last season we didnt have much preparation time in between games.

So this is a real chance to put down some markers in terms of how we want to play and the different systems we might use so that we all know our roles.

While all eyes in Scotland will be on the start of the new league campaign next month, Rangers also have to finish their Europa League tie with Bayer Leverkusen in Germany trailing 3-1 from the first leg at Ibrox.

It seems mission impossible but Davis, who has inspired his country to a number of shock results, refuses to give up hope.

He said: Leverkusen have had the benefit of finishing their league.

I am not sure what their programme will be in terms of preparing for the game with us and where they will be at in terms of fitness.

Hopefully by that stage we will be raring to go. It will be a tough task going away being two goals behind but you never know what could happen.

Davis says that the sooner fans can come back to stadiums the better, adding: Everyone is looking forward to the football beginning again.

We have been tuning in to the English Premier League and Bundesliga since they restarted and now we want to play games too.

Hopefully it will be in front of fans as soon as possible.

The midfielder was pleased for his former Southampton pals Adam Lallana, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane and Dejan Lovren after they helped clinch Liverpools first title in 30 years.

He said: Liverpool have been unbelievable and their success is fully deserved. I was delighted for the boys I used to play with.

Adam has been a little bit unfortunate with injuries over the last two seasons so I am delighted for him. He is a top player and a top person as well.

Sadio has taken his game to another level. I knew he could be the difference in games and hes been a tremendous asset.

And how Virgil has transformed the defence is unbelievable. The game is so easy for him. He is a top, top player and Dejan is, of course, a good player as well.

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Steven Davis on the Rangers form puzzle they must solve as midfielder urges teammates to put down 'markers' - Daily Record

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