Steven Gerrard frustrated Rangers cannot resume full-contact training | Football

Steven Gerrard fears an inability to implement full training will hamper Rangers’ preparations for the new season if in place for much longer.

The Scottish Premiership campaign is due to begin on the first weekend in August and, while players are back at their clubs, government restrictions north of the border remain highly restrictive. The non-contact scenario has clearly frustrated the Rangers manager.

“You have got to understand the situation, of course you have,” said Gerrard. “But we need to try and get back to normality as quickly as possible. The season is going to go ahead when we are told it will go ahead. We need to get back to full-contact training as quickly as we can. We will fully prepare the players for hopefully a 60-game season. If we continue to go non-contact for a month longer I think it could have an effect on having the players fully prepared for the beginning of August.”

Rangers’ upcoming schedule is further complicated both by the second leg of a 2019-20 Europa League tie against Bayer Leverkusen and the imminent start of a new season in the same competition. Several countries are already operating with looser limitations than Scotland.

“It is not ideal, I’ll be honest,” said the former England captain. “It’s better than it was but the sooner we can get back to normality the better because with the season being just over a month away we need a certain amount of time to prepare the players in 11 v 11 situations and full contact.

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“Hopefully we can get back to where we need to be. We have to spend an awful lot more time on the training pitch. Because we are training in small groups we are doing three or four training sessions a day, which isn’t ideal. But we totally understand the situation. It’s unique, we’ve had to adapt. Hopefully in the coming days we get some news that we can get closer to where we need to get to.”

Last month Gerrard was scathing about the conduct of the Scottish Professional Football League during their highly controversial process of abandoning the 2019-20 season. While intimating his sentiment remains, the Rangers manager resisted any temptation to wade back into the row.

“In terms of the decisions made about Celtic getting the title and Hearts being relegated our opinion hasn’t really changed,” said Gerrard. “We still believe it would have been possible to finish the league but it is what it is and we have to accept that.

“We have to take it on the chin, move on and look forward. And that is all that we can do. In terms of the league I said my piece at the time and I don’t think I need to add anything.”

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