Steven Gerrard ‘naive’ to rail against referees – Billy Dodds

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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was “naive” to hit out at referees after his side’s 1-1 draw at Aberdeen, says former Scotland striker Billy Dodds.

Gerrard was upset at an early red card for striker Alfredo Morelos, saying it “seems like the world is against us”.

He also claimed “more decisions will go against us as the season goes on” and “it’s been happening for a good while”.

“He is trying to install an ‘everyone doesn’t like us’ attitude,” ex-Rangers forward Dodds told BBC Scotland.

“He is trying to rally his players to make sure they know what is required to win games for Rangers.

“I can see what he is trying to do, but I think he has been a little bit naive in coming out with that.

“But he is very focused and knows what he wants to do, and knows the standards that need to be set to change that mentality about the club.

“They definitely showed it on the park yesterday – I thought Rangers were excellent – but maybe he is regretting he said that.

“I thought he was calm and collected during the game, so I was quite surprised he said that afterwards.”

Morelos was sent off in the 12th minute at Pittodrie after kicking out at Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna, who Gerrard said had “barged” the Colombian striker “quite clearly”.

Despite playing with 10 men, Rangers took the lead via a James Tavernier penalty before Bruce Anderson’s injury-time equaliser rescued a point for Aberdeen.

Dodds believes the actions of Morelos, who scored 18 goals in his first season at Ibrox, place a question mark over his future at the club.

“I said after the game, could that be the end of Morelos?” Dodds added on Good Morning Scotland. “It was stupidity. You just can’t do that.

“Steven Gerrard said before the game that we have to show composure and not get caught up in the fixture, and then suddenly one of his players goes and does that.

“Morelos needs to show consistency – whether it is goal-scoring, his reaction to things like that, his mood swings.

“If he does that, he is a good player. I will be interested to see how Steven Gerrard handles that type of thing, with regard to Morelos.”

Rangers next face NK Maribor at home on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League third qualifying round tie, before hosting St Mirren in the Premiership next Sunday, 12 August.

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