The Scottish Premier League returns this weekend and Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is determined to avoid the mistakes of last season as he looks to break Celtic's dominance.
On the opening day of their last campaign, Rangers were denied a win after Aberdeen scored a late goal. It's something the former Liverpool player has identified as an issue and one is keen to resolve.
"Having analysed last season if the games finished after 86 minutes we’d have won the league," he said at his pre-game press conference. "That’s the brutal truth."
Gerrard takes his outfit to Kilmarnock first up and is unconcerned by the style he will encounter: "I have to focus on Rangers, our style, how we play. But one thing is for sure – it will be a tough game."
His comments about the season's data predictably caught Celtic fan's attention.
Reading Steven Gerrard this morning..”Having analysed last season if the games had finished after 86 minutes we’d have won the league, that’s the brutal truth”...
I was under the impression games have always lasted 90 minutes but there you go...
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) August 3, 2019
Competing against Gerrard is Celtic boss Neil Lennon. His task is a tall one, with a historic hunt for a nine in a row ahead. It is welcomed pressure as far as he is concerned.
We are up to eight but I’d like to get to 12, 13, 14 — because I’m greedy. Let’s make it to 15. We’re halfway there! It’s Groundhog Year. Everyone is waiting for the run to end but we need to stay strong.
Some people are negative and waiting for things to spiral but we are in control at the moment.
Right now Celtic have a monopoly, having finished nine clear of Rangers last season. Rangers were 11 clear of the rest. Ahead of the new campaign, they once again represent the primary threat to Lennon's league run desire.