Gers came back to win 2-1 after their manager’s strongly worded team-talk at half-time
Steven Gerrard did not hold back during a half-time outburst which inspired his shot-shy Rangers side to a second-half comeback in Perth.
The boss revealed his fury after his team had allowed Matty Kennedy to fire St Johnstone ahead just before the interval.
In a stunning outburst, he told his misfiring squad they were not fit to wear the Rangers jersey on the basis of their 45-minute display.
And those harsh words did the trick as a double from Alfredo Morelos sealed a 2-1 win which keeps Rangers on the tails of leaders Celtic, who are now just a point in front.
“The first half wasn’t good enough,” he said. “Nobody did the shirt justice, nobody looked like a Rangers player to me.
“I had to have the honest conversation with them at half-time, I had to tell them what all the fans thought of them because you could hear their reaction at the end of the first half.
“My job is to let them know what the fans think and it’s my job to demand more out of them and we got a major reaction in the second half. Every single player to a man stood up to be counted.
“You saw the two sides to us today. The team in the first half was second best, then we were a quality team which looks like it’s capable of being at the top of the table.
“These were three really big points with the two games we have on the horizon.”
Rangers now face two crucial clashes against Hibernian and Celtic before the new year arrives and Gerrard wants to see his team maintain their second-half levels.
He said: “We need a 90-minute performance for the next two games now. That’s an understatement.
“I need the Rangers for the 90 minutes against Hibs last week and I need to see the performance from the second half today for the whole of the next two games.”
Rangers failed to test Zander Clark at all during the opening half as Saints bossed proceedings, taking the lead when Kennedy crashed the ball into the roof of the net just before the break.
Gerrard acted at the interval when he hooked ineffective Albanian winger Eros Grezda for Glenn Middleton. He also introduced Kyle Lafferty early and the changes did the trick as Rangers finally took control.
Morelos levelled up on 66 minutes as he headed home from a Middleton cross then snatched the points late on as he swept in his 19th goal of the campaign.