STEVEN GERRARD has opened up on the personal challenges he experienced during lockdown and detailed the support network in place at Rangers to help players and staff through the Covid pandemic.

The Ibrox manager has been a figure to rally round for his squad once again this term and Rangers will end the season as champions after clinching a historic 55th Premiership title in March.

But it has been a unique campaign on and off the park as supporters have been forced to watch on from home and managers, players and backroom personnel have lived and worked in very different circumstances.

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Gerrard has faced the same obstacles as many parents in recent months as he and wife Alex bring up their four children and the 40-year-old has had a father-like influence on his players as well.

Rangers have coped with the turbulent situation in society and sport better than most this term and Gerrard - speaking to supporters on a 'Team Talk' initiative to help fans with their mental health - has revealed the practices that have been put in place to keep spirits up at Ibrox.

Gerrard said: “I've found it really challenging from a personal point of view with my own family.

“I've got four kids. It's very difficult to explain to a four-year-old and a 10-year-old that they're not allowed out the door to see their friends and family, that they can't go to school.

“Then I've got my older girls. One's just got a boyfriend, who can't understand why she can't see her boyfriend.

HeraldScotland: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

“Then I've got a 14-year-old who has got to do home-schooling and can't get her head around that.

“So those are the challenges I've had to face myself along the way.

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“I've had to listen Alex nagging for a year about not being able to have her normal life.

“But along the way we made sure from a football point of view that we had loads of Zooms, where we gave the players the opportunity to talk.

HeraldScotland: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

“We tried to put some quiz activities on and some tactical and technical presentations, just to keep them involved and give them something to do and try to take them away from some of their own insecurities and concerns about lockdown.

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“I think all of us were just a bit lost because none of us had an end date to work to. It was challenging for everyone.

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“As a club, what I will say is we did everything to try to support the players and their families during what was a tough time for everyone.

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“That goes for the youth academy and the ladies team. We did a lot of Q&As and made sure the first-team players went on to support the younger kids to give them some fun.

“We really connected as a club, from the Ladies to the Academy to the first team to make sure we were all active during the lockdown.

“We gave them training sessions as well to keep them ticking over from a health and fitness point of view."

*Rangers have secured a five-year partnership extension with 32Red, building on one of the longest running sponsorships in football. 32Red will continue to deliver Team Talk – a men’s mental health initiative that gives Rangers fans a support network to share their own mental health experiences.