RANGERS manager Steven Gerrard revealed last night that he expects to be involved in the process of replacing departed director of football Mark Allen. The former Manchester City executive surprised Scottish football when he announced on Friday evening that he was leaving the Ibrox club where he has spent the last two years revamping the football department.

Perhaps Allen’s biggest signing, Gerrard last night revealed that he would have loved his friend to have stayed longer but respected his decision to return south of the border to be closer to his family. In terms of assembling a squad capable of competing in Europe and challenging Celtic domestically, he feels he has “completed his mission”.

“I would have wanted him to stay around a bit longer to be honest of course but everyone has their time and Mark has decided he wants to go back to his family, I respect that,” said Gerrard after the 3-1 victory against Livingston which kept the Ibrox side three points back on Premiership leaders Celtic.

“In terms of whether the club put similar type person in that role and how long that is going to take, they are questions you will probably have to ask the board. Will I be involved in the process? Probably.

“I’m not in any rush,” he added. “The club need to decide whether they want a technical director in and if the right person is out there. If they can find the right person, that is the main thing. There is no point filling it with just someone because I am sure there will be a queue for it. It has to be the right person, someone who compliments all the hard work Mark has done.

“Because from where it was when he walked in the door to where it is now, he has done a hell of a job. He has worked tirelessly throughout the summer to improve the squad and help us qualify for Europe. And I think he has completed the mission the club asked him to do. He will always be my friend, and I enjoyed working with him. I have only good words to say about him.”

“Of course, there is a void there at the moment,” he added. “But it doesn’t change things for me in terms of my role and the day-to-day stuff. Mark was brilliant for me, he gave me incredible support. He sold the job to me, not that it needed selling. He was the one who came and got me so I appreciate the opportunity from him. He came in at a time at this club when it needed shaking up, he was the one who shook it up and get it to the point it is at now.”

Gerrard hailed his players for refusing to panic yesterday, even when Steven Lawless steered in a penalty just after the re-start to give the visitors a lead. “Maybe earlier on in my tenure we would have panicked and maybe had a few player who would hide and not fancy it," said Gerrard. "The crowd can make things a little bit difficult when these type of things happen but the players stood up to it."