Rangers boss Steven Gerrard addresses speculation linking him to Newcastle job admitting he is keeping an eye on “interesting” developments
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The Light Blues boss admits he is fully focused on the Scottish champions top of the table encounter with unbeaten Hearts at Ibrox later today.
However, Gerrard claims the ongoing situation at St James’ Park has caught his attention after he was installed as one of the bookmakers favourites to take over on Tyneside last week.
The market has since cooled on him, but Gerrard will watch on with interest as Magpies boss Steve Bruce takes charge of his 1000th game as a manager against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
He said: “I don’t really react or get involved in any kind of speculation, especially when there’s someone who I have the utmost respect for sitting in that job.
“For me, I am in a very big job and very big role here which I am very much fully focused on.
“We’ve got a top of the table clash at the weekend and it’s a game I am very much looking forward to.
“I’ve certainly got one eye on Newcastle in terms of Brucey getting his 1000th game. He’s a great character of the game, he’s someone who I have a personal relationship with.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing him getting his 1000th game. I think it’s a mammoth achievement so congratulations to him.
“I think the character that Steve Bruce is, I don’t think he’d want anyone to have sympathy for him or feel sorry for him. He’s been a great character of the game.
“Sitting in these positions, you know, I wouldn’t like people to be speculating about my job, so I certainly won’t be getting involved in any of the speculation towards him.
“I think it’s interesting, what’s happening at Newcastle. I think if anyone deserves a break it’s the Geordie fans, so I’m sure the excitement levels are very high on the Toon.
“I’m sure everyone involved in the game is looking on with interest to see how it develops, but from a personal point of view, I don’t really get involved in speculation and I wish Steve Bruce all the best.”
Gerrard is looking forward to the return of domestic action this weekend and offered an insight into what happens at the club during the international break.
He stated: “It’s two weeks off domestic football, and I think we all miss it, certainly we do as a staff.
“What we do is we follow our international players, we try and watch as many games as we can, if we can’t get the games we try and make sure we get the footage and clips, to see how they are playing first and foremost.
“We obviously have a fantastic medical and sports science team that make contact with the players personally and the countries and check how they are feeling physically. Although they are away on international duty, they are still our players.
“They belong to us, so we need to make sure the duty of care is there for them as well. It is a long two weeks.
“As a manager, you don’t know who has recovered until the day before a game, who can train and who is available for the next game which we are all looking forward to.”
Gerrard has faced a number of selection headaches so far this season due to players missing out through Covid and injuries and admits he has been forced to rotate his squad more than he ideally would have liked.
He added: “We haven’t had a choice. In an ideal world I’m looking for this settled team, to try and get people in a rhythm, to try and get the team in a rhythm, that will help us find a level of consistency that will take us to where we want to get to.
“It has been a challenge to us as a staff to find a settled team because we have had so many interruptions.
“I think over the course of a season I’ll naturally try and offload and change, to make sure that I try to keep all our players fresh and in the best form I can.
“I think it’s unrealistic to expect the whole 11, 12 maybe 13 players to play every game. I don’t think that’s right because at some stage in a season, they would all flag and hit a brick wall.
“That’s my job to manage loads, to manage who has played international games, and try and pick the hungriest and freshest team to get the job done on the weekend.”