EVERYONE knows Steven Gerrard the player, the captain and even the brand. All Mark Allen was interested in was Steven Gerrard the man.

Tasked with appointing the next manager of Rangers – a decision that would have hugely significant consequences both on and off the park for years to come – Allen had no doubt what, and who, was required. In June, he got his man as Gerrard was appointed on a four-year deal.

A process that had begun when Pedro Caixinha was sacked four months earlier had come to an end. After missing out on Derek McInnes and overlooking Graeme Murty, Allen’s search had finally been successful.

Only time will tell whether the Director of Football has chosen wisely and whether Gerrard can transfer the skills and experiences from a glittering career with Liverpool and England into the dugout and become idolised by a new set of supporters.

Whatever the coming weeks, months and years bring, whatever adversities have to be overcome and accomplishments toasted, Allen has faith that Gerrard will prove to be the right man at the helm.

“Listen, there is always a pressure when you are appointing managers,” Allen told SportTimes.

“I looked at it in a number of ways and I could have approached it in many different ways. It could have been down to win ratios and matches won, but I think when you start to get into those you get into comparisons of leagues and how comparable is this league to that league.

“For me, I stayed away from all of those things because stats are stats and they can tell you what you want to hear at times. The most important thing for me was the characteristics of a manager and that is what was my driver.

“I needed to make sure that Rangers had a manager that was a leader, a manager that was a winner and a manager that could cope in adversity.

“In the appointment that we made, there are very few questions that could be asked about those three characteristics. That was the overriding driver.

“Plus, I was fortunate enough to get to know Steven during my time at Manchester City and I got to observe him from a distance. I was in no doubt whatsoever that he was the right guy.”

On the day that Gerrard was unveiled as manager at Ibrox, the 38-year-old’s approval rating amongst supporters was off the scale. A legend in Liverpool, he was now revered at Rangers.

Many had initially been sceptical of the idea, citing the fact that Gerrard only had a few months coaching with the Reds’ Under-19s on his CV as a reason why he couldn’t make the jump into the Ibrox dugout.

“I challenge that, I have to be honest,” Allen said. “A lack of experience in what? A lack of experience of being a leader? I don’t think so. A lack of experience of being a winner? I don’t think so. A lack of experience in terms of being able to cope with good and bad? I don’t think so.

“So, for me, he is very experienced in all of those three categories, which were the most important ones.”

The deal for Gerrard was as bold as it was brave from Rangers. It was a risk, but a calculated one.

The early signs have been promising for supporters and the Gers have top spot in the Premiership and a Europa League knockout berth in their sights ahead of a series of fixtures in December that could make or break Gerrard’s first campaign at Ibrox.

From the moment he uttered ‘let’s go’ in his first press conference, the fans have absorbed Gerrard’s messages, but the England icon has a far wider reach than the Light Blue legions.

“There is no doubt that the appointment of Steven has raised a few eyebrows and opened a few eyes in terms of ‘what is going on there?’,” Allen said. “That is purely from the fact that he is a world-renowned name, everywhere you go people know who Steven Gerrard is and what he has done in football.

“I think it was definitely a factor in putting Rangers back on the map and making people more aware. I keep coming back to the characteristics, though. It wasn’t the name Steven Gerrard, it was the person Steven Gerrard.”

Gerrard may be the main figure, the man that everyone looks up to, at Rangers but he has been keen to stress the importance of those around him during his first few months at Ibrox.

In the dugout, that is Gary McAllister, his assistant manager, coaches Michael Beale and Tom Culshaw, who moved from Liverpool with him, and Colin Stewart. Away from the pitch, it is Allen that is his main point of contact, and the work the Director of Football undertakes is just as important to Rangers’ prospects as what Gerrard does on a day-to-day basis.

“Our relationship is very close, very tight,” Allen said. “We speak probably six, seven, eight times a day, we involve each other in everything. It is a pleasure, in that respect.

“I think we see things very much in the same way, we are on the same page, which is a significant advantage.

“I think relationships are important full stop. My relationship with the manager is important, my relationship with the chairman is important, the manager’s relationship with the chairman is important.

“They are all a series of things and my job is to make sure there is a connect and I connect the football pitch to the boardroom.

“That is what the Director of Football job is all about, connecting that and making sure there are proper conversations and communications taking place so that all parties are very clear in what we are trying to achieve. Thankfully, there is one goal, we are all on the same page and we are all in this together.”

For everyone associated with Rangers, that ultimate goal is obvious. It is not set in stone this season, however.

Winning the Betfred Cup would have been the perfect start to the Gerrard era, while a Scottish Cup success would be the ideal way to end his first campaign as a manager.

It is the Premiership title that is coveted at Ibrox, though. There is a desire to deliver it, but Gerrard is not under time pressure this term.

“None,” Allen said when asked what parameters had been set out for Gerrard this season. “I think we all know where we want to end up, we want to be back winning the Premiership, etc, etc.

“I think to put a timescale on that is very hard and saying it has got to be one year, two years, three years, whatever it is. It will be as soon as we possibly can and no stone is being left unturned to try and get there as quickly as we can.

“But we have to do it in a sensible way, a prudent way, and a way that makes this football club sustainable.

“I think we have to do it in the right time and the right way. When we win it again, it will be the right time.”