ALAN Stubbs has warned Steven Gerrard he should be careful who he takes advice from in the wake of the Rangers manager claiming the world was against the Ibrox club and had been for years following his first league game in charge at Aberdeen.

The old Merseyside rivals go up against one another at Ibrox today when St Mirren are the visitors on Premiership business and Stubbs believes his former foe on the pitch will soon find out who is real friends are, both inside and outside Ibrox.

He also thinks Gerrard will become a better Rangers manager as soon as he works out how things work in Scotland, hinting that not everyone the former Liverpool and England captain has dealt with is looking out for his best interests.

“I think Steven is dealing with it well,” Stubbs said. “He just needs to be careful who he listens to. He is a strong enough character to make his own mind up. He is certainly that. Even when I’ve spoken to him away from football, he has always known what he wanted to do.

“Steven will have his own ideas. He’s got an assistant in Gary McAllister who will know quite a bit about the club while the other staff won’t necessarily know a lot. However, he is a strong enough character to make up his own mind. Steven will understand quickly how here in Scotland people will jump on things.”

Asked who in particular may have suggested to Gerrard to go down the path he did when he spoke about the controversial

decisions at Pittodrie, most notably Alfredo Morelos’ red card, which was later rescinded, Stubbs said: “I don’t know. I think, for what it’s worth, that it’s wrong that the assistant isn’t officiating this weekend in the top flight. That is probably not fair. For me, I can see why he was sent off. Maybe it was harsh but I can see why the linesman was doing his job. There must be a grey area somewhere for people to think differently.

“It’s possible that assistant [David McGeachie] might not want to make a decision because technically he has done what he was supposed to do, but then it has been proved wrong. There is an argument to have about the decision.

“When you are delivering your case to a disciplinary committee and something like that [Morelos] happened, you would just show them that footage. There is your precedent. They have created a problem for themselves. Again.

“I think they have undermined the referee [Kevin Clancy]. I was a little bit surprised with the outcome and in terms of the consequences going forward.

“I can see why Steven questioned it. In terms of whether his player was provoked – he was barged – I think a lot more goes on in football and you have to deal with that. I would tell my players not to kick out. I won’t tell them to not kick. If we start talking about that then it’s a different ball game and it literally is becoming a non-contact sport.”

While Stubbs would listen with a smirk as four sides of Goodison hurled abuse at the iconic Liverpool captain, one word would always come to mind to the Everton man and that was respect.

Bad players don’t tend to get booed, they tend to be ignored, and Gerrard was more than decent in his day.

Stubbs, a bluenose in the Merseyside sense, will get quite a bit of stick himself when he returns to Ibrox today as St Mirren manager. Indeed, he has already received a warm welcome by the locals when watching Rangers – and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I loved going to Ibrox as a player,” he said. “It is a fantastic occasion, it can be very intimidating but I was never scared of it.

“It was the same as a manager at Hibs. If you can’t enjoy going to Ibrox and Celtic Park with 50,000, then you shouldn’t be a professional football player. You might as well pack it in.

“It’s not daunting unless the 50,000 are singing a song about me and even then I think that’s respect. They might not like me but it’s respect that they have even sang a song about me.

“It’s the same when Steven went to Goodison. Everton fans would sing a song about him. It’s respect. Nothing else. They might not like him but ultimately it’s about respect because they knew what a big player he was for them.

“If they sing about me it won’t be the first or last time. They might mean it a little bit but I don’t see any relevance in it. We have all been called a w***** in the past so does it matter if it’s 50,000?”