STEVEN Gerrard last night dismissed claims by Gordon Strachan that representing Rangers is “too much” for Alfredo Morelos and many of his players – and backed them to prove the former Celtic manager wrong this evening.

The Ibrox club need to beat Rapid Vienna in the Allianz Stadium here in Austria tonight in their final Europa League group game to book a place in the knockout rounds of the competition.

In a column for bookmakers Paddy Power yesterday, Strachan suggested that Morelos’s discipline problems were due to the size of the club he was playing for and the huge crowds he has been performing in front of.

He also expressed the opinion that many of Gerrard’s summer signings were struggling because they had been playing in lesser leagues or for reserve and youth teams before they moved to Glasgow.

But the Liverpool and England great is convinced his players, who have lost to Aberdeen and Dundee in their last two Ladbrokes Premiership games and slipped off top spot in the league, is confident his charges can handle the occasion and triumph.

“Alfredo is fine,” he said. “I wasn’t aware of any comments that were made, but if that’s what was said I’ll have to disagree with the Alfredo one. He’s scored 17 goals and his form is very good.

“It doesn’t irk me. if I had an opinion on Celtic when Gordon Strachan was the manager I don’t think Gordon would have taken too much notice of it. So I don’t think I’m going to take too much notice of what an ex-Celtic manager says about my team.”

Asked if Morelos and his team mates could prove Strachan wrong by ensuring Rangers beat Rapid this evening, he said: “They have an opportunity to do that every time they pull on a Rangers shirt.

“I think so far this season they have done the fans very proud. Seven days ago we were sitting top of the league with an opportunity to progress to the last 32 of the Europa League.

“That suggests for me that the players can handle the shirt and that we’ve taken huge strides forward.

“On the back of two results that weren’t good for us and on the back of two performances that weren’t good for us we understand that there will be external opinions. But I think it’s important we don’t focus on what’s being said and just focus on ourselves.

“I have experienced the highs and lows at another big football club. We have good people inside our dressing room and we hurt when we don’t get the results we are looking for - we all do.”

Gerrard added: “It’s important we all stick together and try and get that win as soon as we can. Tomorrow is a fantastic opportunity to spin the feeling again if you like.

“A week ago I remained calm and humble when we went top of the league so after a couple of bad results I am not going to panic and think everything is not right. We just need to focus on our football. Tomorrow is huge.

“We have responded to disappointment before and that’s what you have to do. I don’t think you need to listen to external opinions. You just focus on the next game plan, the next challenge and that is Rapid.”