Rangers manager Steven Gerrard backs Alfredo Morelos to keep his cool against Celtic after red card last

Alfredo Morelos has been backed to keep calm by Rangers manager Steven Gerrard when his side face Celtic on Sunday.

The prolific striker was sent off five times last season, including a straight red for elbowing Hoops captain Scott Brown in March.

Morelos has only been shown a red card once this term, however, and that came two weeks ago for an inflammatory gesture aimed at Motherwell supporters.

Alfredo Morelos has 28 goals this season – will he add to his tally against Celtic?

Getty Images – Getty

Alfredo Morelos has 28 goals this season – will he add to his tally against Celtic?

Gerrard believes the forward, who has 28 goals this season, has shown he has matured after coming off the bench to score the winner for Rangers against Kilmarnock on Boxing Day.

He said: “I have got no doubt Alfredo will be ready to face this challenge at the weekend. He’s in the best place he can be. His behaviour has massively improved again.

“When he came on again yesterday there were people trying to provoke him and he just rolled on with it. He was brilliant.

“It’s going to be hostile at Celtic Park, so it’s important for all the players to keep their discipline. Emotions run high all the time in derby matches.

“Let’s hope we’re talking about the football rather than people losing their cool and sending offs.”

Steven Gerrard and his Rangers side face Celtic on Sunday

Getty Images – Getty

Steven Gerrard and his Rangers side face Celtic on Sunday

Morelos suffered fresh derby agony earlier this month when he blew a string of chances – including a second-half penalty – as Rangers failed to convert Betfred Cup final domination into silverware.

However, there has been no sign of a Hampden hangover, with the 23-year-old netting in each of the three games he has featured in since.

And Gerrard hopes he is now ready to finally break his 11-game drought against Celtic this weekend.

He said: “I thought Alfredo’s all-round performance was really good in the final. He created a lot of the chances for himself out of nothing.

“He’s just got to go do exactly the same thing but try and take the big moments in the game. If he does it will give us a better chance of winning.

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“His inner resolve is an area of him that I don’t think you ever have to worry about.

“He’s in love with football. He doesn’t like missing one minute of training. He doesn’t like being a sub or coming off. He motivates himself every time he sees a ball.”