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SVEN SALUTES STEVIE G

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FORMER England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson is backing Steven Gerrard to bring trophies to Rangers.

The Liverpool legend, who celebrates his 40th birthday today, has had two blank seasons at Ibrox with Celtic continuing to dominate by lifting ELEVEN successive honours, including their ninth title in a row.

Neil Lennon and Co are already preparing for  historic and record-breaking tenth consecutive crown in the new campaign.

However, 72-year-old Eriksson, with a coaching career spanning 17 jobs in eight different countries, believes his one-time international skipper will answer the critics.

Eriksson, speaking to the Daily Mail, insisted: “I am very happy for him and he is doing great in my opinion. Of course, he will look at winning trophies as a next step. That will happen. He WILL be a success. I would take a big bet on that.

“Why? Because of his character and his knowledge of football. The Stevie Gerrard I remember didn’t speak very much. But when he did, people listened to him.
“He had that about him, whether it was in training or matches. That is a big thing if you want to be a manager.

“He is also a very serious and professional person. If he gets a job, he will not give 99 per cent to it. He would try and give 200 per cent if possible. And you can see that Rangers did very well in the Europa League.”

Eriksson can empathise with the situation confronting Gerrard as he tries to rebuild Gers into a footballing force while trying to derails the Hoops juggernaut.

He continued: “Rangers and Celtic are two huge clubs. Not only in Scotland, they are huge internationally.

“Every country has these big powers. In Spain, Barcelona and Real Madrid, I experienced Benfica in Portugal and in Scotland you have these two.

“To coach one of these huge clubs is a great honour. It’s fantastic, but you need a strong personality. Stevie has that. I’m sure Rangers can get back and seriously challenge Celtic.

“It is a fantastic challenge, a fantastic club. And Scotland is a big football country. Have I ever had the chance to work there? Not really.

“There were some rumours many, many years ago, I think about Rangers, but I never had any contact with any Scottish club.”

When informed it was Gerrard’s birthday, the Swede laughed and added: “Forty? Wow! Time flies. Big congratulations to Stevie.

‘I have met him a couple of times since we worked together. It’s not like we call each other, but I follow him through the media and see the Rangers results.

“I will always wish him well.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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