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‘We couldn’t handle the pressure’ – Gerrard blames his leaders for chucking away lead before facing Celtic

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Four days before facing Celtic at Hampden Steven Gerrard has slammed his leaders for failing to manage a 2-0 lead at Aberdeen.

The Ibrox men were leading 2-0 after 30 minutes and looking on course to match or better Celtic’s 4-0 win at Pittodrie earlier in the season.

Aberdeen had offered little threat with large sections of Pittodrie empty as the home fans opted to watch on television.

Out of no-where John Gallagher pulled a goal back with a shot that struck James Tavernier and Filip Helander on the way into the net with Andy Considine equalising a few minutes after the re-start.

Gerrard cut a miserable figure on the touchline with some bizarre substitutions failing to change the course of the game as he brought on Sheyi Ojo in the 77th minute then Nikola Katic in the 89th minute.

The Ibrox boss takes very little responsibility for any set-backs with the players in the firing line for last night’s dropped points.

The Daily Record reports:

“When you come away to a rival and look so dominant for 30 or 40 minutes, the game was so one sided and we were cruising. We kept taking the ball from Aberdeen and really playing some really good stuff. We looked like we were going to go on and create more.

“They scored at a really important time and it seemed to affect the momentum of the whole game and then it seemed like we couldn’t handle the pressure in the second half and lacked a bit of experience and game management from there.”

Asked if this was a worry for the Ibrox boss, he replied: “Yes. Always when you go 2-0 up you are expecting your leaders to manage the game better and first and foremost get to half-time 2-0 up.

“That’s the main thing they have to be aware that it’s near the 40 minute mark and it’s five minutes to half-time. Then it’s a different team talk.

“Second half we told them to reset and go out and win the second half but the tide turned and we couldn’t handle the pressure. The defending for the second goal isn’t good enough. It’s disappointing.”

Last night’s results put Celtic two points clear at the top of the SPFL table with the two Glasgow sides meeting at Hampden on Sunday in the final of the League Cup.

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