Steven Gerrard joked he’d love to get Allan McGregor tied down on a 10 year deal after the Rangers legend produced another goalkeeping masterclass.
The shot stopper playing until he’s 50 might be a stretch but his manager is deadly serious about keeping this group together for as long as possible to continue their period of dominance.
Gerrard was thrilled with McGregor as usual, but he was bursting wide pride at plenty of others who helped end Celtic’s season and any debate – real or manufactured – about which side was the best on their day.
Rangers are top dogs regardless of what Hoops side turns up right now and it’s thanks to players such as McGregor, Steven Davis, Connor Goldson and Glen Kamara.
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The first two on that list have already committed to next season. Gerrard hopes the other two pledge their futures are well after revealing their are deep in talks.
But when it comes to his goalie, he said: “I’m bored speaking about him! McGregor is world class.
“We’ve just given him a one year deal but we should have given him 10 – because he can have my job after me!
“We love him that much. He can have whatever he wants.
“He is a big ‘keeper who provides big moments. Again, he was huge for us today.
“I don’t think it was a penalty, it was soft. In an Old Firm game, when it’s frantic and referees let a lot go, that wasn’t a penalty for me. And I must say I didn’t think Joe Aribo’s claim at the other end was one either.
“I think the ref for that one right but he got Celtic ’s penalty wrong. Thankfully, nothing came from it.”
Gerrard wants to keep the nucleus of his champions together as they plot beyond their run at a double this term.
He said: “Steven Davis was majestic in the middle of the park alongside Glen Kamara.
“Glen is someone we are still talking to, to try to get him to commit, because he is a big player for us.
“Connor Goldson is the same. There are a lot of players we are working with to get them tied up because they are so important to the team.
“There were a lot of big performances out there. Derby games are about winning the one v ones and the two v twos.
“They all passed it with flying colours.”
None more so than youngster Nathan Patterson. The kid has come in for the injured James Tavernier and it sums up his performances that the player of the yer contender captain might not be guaranteed to walk straight back in to the side now he’s close to returning to fitness.
Gerrard doesn’t need to advise Scotland boss Steve Clarke but he does reckon he’s got the best right back in the land right now.
He said: “If there is a better right back in the country on form, I would like to see it. I would like to see it. If there is a better right back, on current form, that is Scottish, in the league, I would like to see it.
“The timing just happens naturally. James is available and we would have used him today if needed.
“Nathan got a kick in the last 15 minutes, we were wondering if he’d got a bit of cramp. He emptied the tank for us today and his performance was outstanding.
“He has become a man in a short space of time.
“He’s maturing. We are still going to work on his body to make him bigger and stronger.
“He’ll hopefully be back to finish this season with us and have a really strong pre-season to develop him from a physical and football point of view.
Gerrard, meanwhile, is running out of plaudits for his side. The title is in the bag and he was concerned there would be a natural temptation for some to stick the feet up.
It wasn’t so long ago Celtic were in charge of this fixture but the roles have been completely reversed.
So much so Celtic have incredible scored more goals FOR Rangers this season than against them, with a couple of own goals and a solitary strike in the 1-1 league draw last month to show.
There’s been a complete shift in mindset at Ibrox in recent times and the manager insisted his men can not longer be questioned.
Gerrard said: “Listen, you need good footballers and you need talent, for sure.
“Especially at a club like this where the responsibility and the pressure is to deliver and win and be consistent.
“But, there is no point just having talent. You have got to have good people, people who are willing to put their body on the line and that all comes from heart, passion and desire.
“That is what these fans demand and what they deserve and it is my job to bring people in that are prepared to give them that.
“The mentality has been top. We have been questioned in recent years about mentality and consistency, and rightly so because sometimes we have come up short.
“But this season, so far, there is only St Mirren where you can be critical and that was on me. I took that away from the players, I made the changes and I was responsible for that.
“When I look around the group, the dressing room and the bus, I have got plenty of hearts beating behind me, plenty of them in abundance.