St Mirren out to play ‘party poopers’ for Gerrard’s Ibrox league bow
The two managers were rivals as players on Merseyside.
St Mirren boss Alan Stubbs believes Steven Gerrard will only get a true taste of management once his Rangers honeymoon comes to an end.
Gerrard has guided his new-look Gers to the verge of the Europa League play-offs and only a last-gasp equaliser denied them victory in their opening Ladbrokes Premiership clash at Aberdeen after they had controlled the game for 80 minutes with just 10 men.
The task of handing Gerrard his first defeat now falls to Stubbs when he takes his Saints side to Govan on Sunday – and he is hoping they can show his former Merseyside derby foe the darker side of life in the dug-out.
He said: “I had a few battles with Steven over the years in the Merseyside derby and unfortunately Steven came out on top in the majority of them.
“I’ll have to be honest and say Liverpool were better than us at that time, which pains me to say that as an Everton fan.
“But they were and on a few occasions he would single-handedly drag them across the line as he was a brilliant player.
“You have to appreciate where Steven Gerrard’s standards were as a player. In order to get that in his team takes a long time and I don’t think he’s anywhere near in terms of the standards that he set as a player and the targets that he reached.
“But in the early stages of it he is obviously setting a precedent that he won’t stand for standards being any less than 100 per cent.
“He’s started off very well but it will get tougher at some point.
“There will be times when it does get a bit testing and he will have to see how he deals with defeats. But right now they have started the season very well and the early signs are that he’s got Rangers at it.”
Saints marked their top-flight return with a win over Dundee last weekend but Stubbs admits his side will have to improve significantly if they are to bloody Gerrard’s nose for the first time.
“It’s Steven’s first league game in charge at home and we want to go there and be the party poopers,” said Stubbs.
“The players should take a lot of confidence from last week’s result but now we’re going into Sunday and it’s another few levels up so they’re really going to have to raise their game to cause an upset.”