Exclusive: Steven Gerrard on Rangers title win, Liverpool links and racism in football

Video report by ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith

Steven Gerrard has spoken at length to ITV News for the first time since Rangers' Scottish Scottish Premiership title which denied their bitter rivals Celtic 10 in a row.

The former Liverpool captain spoke of his delight to give fans of the Glasgow giants a first title in a decade, and praised the "incredible efforts" from his players which means they remain unbeaten in the league so far this season.

Watch the extended sit-down with Steven Gerrard here

Speaking exclusively to ITV News' Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith, Gerrard said while he is a "Liverpool fan through and through", the "special relationship" he has created with Rangers' fans means his first league title has a special place in his heart.

The 40-year-old said he hoped there was "understanding" for fans who poured on to the streets of Glasgow to celebrate clinching the title after Celtic could only draw at Dundee United.

He said: "I was asked by the club to remind fans to stay safe but I'm human, I can understand the reaction, but moving forward we must remain calm and safe.

  • 'Understanding' needed for Rangers' fans reaction

"It's clear we were in constant chats with police etc to do all we could to make it as safe as possible but when you're in that moment and you've been through that as fans and players - the work we've put in - I hope there is some understanding."

He spoke about how tough it was living apart from his family who remain on Merseyside.

"I'm hoping they can be with me and have a special day together when things get back to normal - to have a photo with them and the trophy.

"I have to spend less time with them and it's really tough - I can share this with my kids and it'll be a special story I can share with them." The Anfield legend also dismissed speculation linking him to the Liverpool job, amid a dip in form for the defending Premier League champions.

"We have one of the best managers leading our club at the minute," Gerrard said of Jurgen Klopp.

"I love him we hope he stays for a few more years - I've got a job here, I don't think its helpful to talk about this - I hope Jurgen stays at Liverpool for many years."

  • I hope Jurgen Klopp stays at Liverpool for many years, says Gerrard

However, he did not rule out a move in the future, adding: "Liverpool is my club... is it a dream for me to one day be the Liverpool manager? Yes, it is. But not yet and who's to say I'll ever be good enough?

"There's a lot of managers on this planet. We need to respect Jurgen first and foremost."

Gerrard also highlighted the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and taking a knee, which has become a key feature in Scottish and English football this season.

  • 'Small minority' letting down football on racism

He said a "small minority" of fans were letting down the message when it comes to anti-racism.

"It's important to everyone, especially with what's going on in the world. We will continue to give all the support we can and we will support those messages."

He added: "The hope is one day it'll be eradicated."