PAUL MURRAY insists Rangers have taken steps forward in Steven Gerrard’s first season at Ibrox.

Gerrard is set to end his debut dugout campaign without any silverware to show for his efforts following Rangers’ defeats to Aberdeen in both cup competitions.

Celtic are on the brink of landing an eighth successive title but former Ibrox director Murray believes the Gers have improved this term.

He said: “I think there has definitely been progression, both on and off the pitch.

“I think any fair minded person would acknowledge that and to me, as a fan now as opposed to a board member, I think it has been a lack of consistency in some of the matches. We have drawn too many big matches and there has been that lack of quality perhaps in key areas that have lead to that.

“I think we have definitely progressed off the pitch. The whole league has been competitive with Kilmarnock and Aberdeen and we have certainly been more competitive. It has just been those fine margins in key matches where we have got one point rather than three.

“There has been a lot of comments and comparisons between Rangers and Celtic, but we are making progress.

“Like everything in life, you want to move quicker than you perhaps can sometimes but I certainly think that we have moved a good way forward since last year.”

The appointment of Gerrard was a statement of intent from Rangers last summer.

The Liverpool legend has raised the profile of our game and Murray said: “I think on the park we all know that great players don’t always make great managers.

“What he does have is gravitas, credibility and that winning mentality that has transmitted to the players. Hopefully the players that he will bring in can rise to the challenge. Off the pitch, from what I can see from the outside, he is obviously a very big brand in his own name commercially and I would imagine that would lead to financial benefits for the club.

“I think it has also enhanced the commercial value of Scottish football in a general way and you can see that in terms of the coverage down south. I think his arrival has been a positive for Rangers and Scottish football.”