How Stevie G played Brian Rice like a fiddle pre-match

0
Rangers' head coach Steven Gerrard pictured during a press conference of Scotish club Rangers FC, Wednesday 21 October 2020, in Liege. Tomorrow they will meet Belgian soccer Standard de Liege in the first day of the group phase (group D) of the UEFA Europa League competition. BELGA PHOTO VIRGINIE LEFOUR
He's smiling now but he's got a big call to make.... (Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Today’s sensational win over Hamilton proved one thing – not even the ignominy of ‘drawing’ in Portugal was able to dent this squad’s morale and by putting 8 past hapless Hamilton, bouncebackability was very much in session.

Ibrox Noise gave you a pre-match tactics piece, in which we warned Hamilton’s sitting in would cause a stodgy match, a match in which Rangers would struggle to break Brian Rice’s team down.

So inside 5 minutes when Connor Goldson’s lob opened them up with ease, for Ryan Kent’s run to pick out Scotty Arfield to finish – it was clear Hamilton’s defence was playing suicidally high and frankly we only have one explanation:

Pre-match Steven Gerrard had overtly praised the New Douglas Park side for their open and expansive football, and attempts to play the game.

This may just have buried itself inside Rice’s head who was determined to be ‘honest’ and keep that up, rather than the predictable sitting in diddy sides do at Ibrox.

This may have been some delicious mind games from Stevie G, almost forcing Rice’s hand into playing a high defensive line and open football, playing into Rangers’ hand in turn allowing us to completely destroy them.

Rice, in short, flattered by the praise, wanted to prove it true, and played in a way any struggling team who comes to Ibrox should absolutely never.

We absolutely don’t mind at all, but it left Hamilton exposed almost ludicrously and a team in the form, and of the quality of Rangers, are going to absolutely brutalise that.

As we did, with the second highest SPL score in history.

Rice might not admit it, but we think he got completely played.