Rangers legend Brian Laudrup reveals post-match chat with Steven Gerrard after Hearts draw and tough selection calls on Thursday
The Danish hero starred for Rangers between 1994 and 1998
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The Danish hero attended Ibrox and saw the Scottish champions take a first-half lead through John Lundstram’s 25-yard strike before Craig Halkett grabbed a late equaliser to maintain the Jambos unbeaten start to the season.
Laudrup, who became a fan favourite for his outstanding displays between 1994 and 1998, was pictured with Gerrard after the match.
He confirmed the Light Blues boss was frustrated at the two points dropped by his side but admits Gerrard managed to crack a smile after highlighting the fact they remain in the driving seat after nine games.
Writing in his Daily Mail column, Laudrup said: “The years always roll away when I return to Ibrox.
“Being there on Saturday, for the first time since the pandemic started, was a welcome reminder of just what a special place it is.
“I actually thought the 1-1 draw with Hearts was a good advert for Scottish football, but clearly it came with disappointment from a Rangers perspective about not seeing out what would have been a very important win.
“Steven Gerrard reflected some of that when I met him after the match. I had the opportunity to go downstairs and speak to him for the first time, which I really appreciated.
“He was great, if, obviously, a little frustrated at losing two points. I reminded him they were still top of the league and he smiled a little.
“But he also made it clear that Thursday night against Brondby – was going to be a massive game for his side.
“It was just a brief bit of small talk, that’s all. I’d hope to maybe speak to him again if I get a chance to go back to Ibrox later this season because I hope and believe that Gerrard will still be in charge.”
Gerrard is reportedly on a three-man shortlist to become Newcastle United’s next manager, but Laudrup doesn’t think a move to St James’ Park would be right decision for the Liverpool great at the moment.
He added: “The first managerial appointment under this extremely rich Newcastle regime is going to be a stepping stone.
“No matter who comes in, it will be a case of studying up this season and raising the squad to another level over two or three years.
“Then the next manager who comes in after that will reap the benefits and have to deliver some titles.
“Everyone knows Gerrard’s dream of going back to Liverpool as manager one day in his career.
“Would the Newcastle of 2021, who have relegation worries, be the right step on that road? Only he knows, of course, but I’m not sure it would be.”
Ahead of Thursday night’s must-win Europa League encounter with Brondby IF, Laudrup believes Gerrard has some big selection calls to make, including whether to start Alfredo Morelos.
Rangers are in urgent need of registering points on the board in Group A after losing their opening two games against Lyon and Sparta Prague.
Laudrup is convinced the out-of-form Colombian striker, who spurned a number of opportunities against Hearts, is in danger of losing his sport in the starting line-up.
He admitted: “Gerrard has some thinking to do to try and create the right formula against Brondby.
“On Saturday, Rangers could have been three or four goals up by midway through the second half, but Alfredo Morelos, in particular, wasted numerous chances.
“They cannot afford that profligacy again on Thursday because this is a must-win. Zero points after two games in the Europa League tells its own story.
“It’s now or never in terms of building hope of again reaching the knockout phase.
“You know Morelos will get his goals at some point in a season. he has been a huge presence for Rangers ever since he arrived, particularly in Europe.
“But there have also been times when he’s not been at his best and we are in one of those moments right now.
“He works hard and is still a menace, I saw that on Saturday. But then he lets himself down with some bad decisions and bad first touches.
“It’s a huge call on Thursday to decide whether a goal against Brondby and a positive display can catapult his season forward or whether picking him carries a risk of another lacklustre showing that hurts the team?
“Morelos’ excellent record in the Europa League makes me think he will start the game, but it’s a tough one for Gerrard because we have seen in the past that Morelos can react and kick on after spending some time on the bench.”