THE critics have been silenced and the doubters have been won over. In the end, the mission was far from impossible.

Steven Gerrard knew the reaction that would follow when he decided to make the move from Liverpool to Rangers three years ago.

He didn't set out to prove them wrong. That is a welcome by-product of his success, though, and today he can savour the moment that he always believed he was capable of achieving.

There have been lows to match the highs along the way, of course, but Rangers will be crowned as Premiership champions this afternoon and Gerrard's faith, in both himself and the club, will be repaid.

He has achieved the ambition he has been working towards since day one at Ibrox.

Rangers have spent so long looking back but they can now enjoy the present. Once title 55 has been celebrated, the focus must shift to the future as Gerrard channels the spirit of his playing days and strives for that next goal.

HeraldScotland: Big job ahead: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard PA

Gerrard said: "I think it has to be. That is the job. That is in the job description and it is also in my DNA that when you are successful, that is the time to improve.

"You always try and fix the roof when the sun is shining, in my opinion. It a case of enjoying this moment, of course it is, and we will enjoy it over the summer, but when we come back next season it is about resetting and basically resetting the remit.

"What is next? What are the next targets? What do we have to do to try and add to it?

"You know and I know that at this club you can’t stand still and one trophy is not enough.

"What I achieved at Liverpool I am proud of, but it was about moving on from that period of my career as a footballer. It was about going down a different road in terms of coaching and management.

"I had my apprenticeship at Liverpool, if you like, coaching the 18s and 19s, which really set me up and I learned a lot. I was around some magnificent people that prepared me for this opportunity.

HeraldScotland: 04/05/18. IBROX - GLASGOW. Steven Gerrard is unveiled as the new Rangers manager.

"I think from the outside, not many people believed I was the right person, I understood people saying I was a rookie and inexperienced and that the job was too big, I get all that, but when Rangers came I mentioned the feeling, I had a vision and I saw that opportunity to try and get to this point of becoming a champion and getting Rangers back where they belong.

"Now it is about trying to add to that, trying to improve on that and that is the challenge for us all moving forward."

Gerrard arrived in Glasgow with the chance to earn a place in Ibrox folklore. His players now have the opportunity to write their names in the record books.

HeraldScotland: Steven Gerrard

Aberdeen stand between the champions and an unbeaten campaign, while there are individual and collective targets still to aim for on the final day of the season.

When the whistle blows for the last time, the party can begin. That moment has been a long time coming for Rangers.

Gerrard said: “It’s been a fantastic season, certainly from a league point of view. We’re really excited for [the trophy day].

"I’m excited for the players, I’m excited for the supporters, more than myself. But it is a really satisfying place to be in as a manager, knowing that what the players have delivered so far this season.

"There is one more game to go and I’d like us to finish really strong and basically put a season’s worth into [the Aberdeen game] and hopefully we can break that 100 points and remain unbeaten.

"That’s from the game’s point of view but we’re really excited for the day, there’s no getting away from that.”