STEVEN Gerrard last night admitted Rangers need Alfredo Morelos back after watching his side grind out a narrow 1-0 victory over St Mirren at Ibrox.

Morelos, who has scored 28 goals in all competitions this season, is currently serving a three match suspension.

The Colombian will miss the Ladbrokes Premiership match against Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday before returning.

"I’ve said it before that when Alfredo Morelos isn’t available, we’re going to miss him," said Gerrard.

"Jermain Defoe has been big for us - two starts on the spin and two goals (he scored in the 2-0 triumph over Stranraer in the William Hill Scottish Cup on Friday night. But, yes, we need Alfredo back, as well.

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"James (Rangers captain and right back Tavernier) as well. He provides an attacking outlet on the right. Greg Stewart is another big miss."

However, Gerrard praised the contribution of Jermain Defoe after his former England team mate pitched in with a vital first-half winner.

Defoe, who turned 37 in October, turned a Borna Barisic delivery into the opposition net and that ultimately secured the three points for the home team.

The Rangers manager is keen to keep the centre forward, who is on loan from Bournemouth until the end of the 2019/20 campaign, in Glasgow beyond the summer.

His goal last night was Defoe's 16th of the season and Gerrard was pleased with his evergreen performance.

"Defoe is a predator in the box," said Gerrard. "He could have killed the game off for us at the end, too.

"He is still hungry in the 90th minute. He’s as hungry now as he was when he was 17."

Meanwhile, Gerrard confirmed that Stewart, who is sidelined with a calf injury, was a doubt for the Premiership game against Hearts in Edinburgh this weekend.