JIMMY NICHOLL has warned Steven Gerrard must separate the ‘weeds’ from the flowers at Rangers if he is to stop Celtic next season.

The Liverpool icon will take over as Graeme Murty’s permanent replacement on June 1 but was not in Govan yesterday as the Ibrox side scraped to a 1-0 victory over Kilmarnock.

Nicholl was the man in the dugout for the victory which takes Rangers to within a point of Aberdeen, but he was honest in what changes need to be made to the playing squad if Gerrard is to take them to the next level.

He said: “Listen, I thought Graeme did a great job to get them into this position.

“I’m telling you it’s a difficult job. Believe me, it was difficult the things he had to deal with and handle, and he did it.

“But unfortunately he got beaten by Celtic and that’s it – it’s the be all and end all. You have to beat Celtic, to get in the cup finals you have to beat them, you have to beat them at their place to stop them winning the league. You have to do all these things.

“But for what he did leading up to those games, I’m telling you he did a good job.

“I want to leave [Gerrard] a legacy of European football at least - and by doing that, that means they’ve performed and he’s happy with what he’s seen.

“And he’ll do a bit of weeding - get the weeds sorted out from the flowers.”

Nicholl says he is unaware if he has a future at the club under Gerrard’s watch, but admits he would love the chance.

“Of course, you expect things are going to be on the up and up,” he said. “They have got to. They have got to start winning games, they have got to start achieving things. Getting what it to takes to win a game of football. We have got to stop Celtic winning the league we know that.

“How long that is going to take the new manager to get that turned around we don’t know. We will just wait and see.”