Liverpool legend Gerrard admits taking secret advice from Sir Alex Ferguson

Liverpool legend Gerrard admits taking secret advice from Sir Alex Ferguson

Steven Gerrard has put his Liverpool allegiances to one side in pursuing the managerial advice of Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson.

Gerrard has been in charge of Rangers for three seasons, often calling upon Ferguson as he learned not just the trade, but about Scottish football.

The 40-year-old has already ended Celtic’s streak of nine consecutive Scottish Premierships, with Rangers claiming the trophy weeks ago as they post a 23-point lead over their rivals.

In an interview with the Guardian, Ferguson applauded the ‘magnificent’ achievement of the former Liverpool captain in just his first managerial position.

“It’s very high praise and I’m extremely flattered,” Gerrard said. “He’s an iconic figure in the game. Through no fault of our own we became big, big rivals at Liverpool and Manchester United, the two biggest clubs in British football.

“We were massive rivals for many years and he’s someone that even though he was a rival I looked up to him immensely because he is such an iconic figure in the game. What he achieved in the game is up there with the very best who have ever lived. So I’m really flattered and humbled by his words.”

Gerrard’s secret advice

While Ferguson heaped praise on the Scottish Football Writers manager of the year, he never mentioned that they’d been in contact. It was Gerrard who let out the ‘secret’ after collecting the award.

“I’ll let you into a little secret: I’ve had a couple of conversations with him,” Gerrard added. “Since I retired we have parked our rivalry up and he gave me time on the phone to bounce a few things off him, a few questions to do with the management up here at Rangers.

“He was fantastic in those conversations. At some point moving forward I’d love the chance to sit down with him and have a coffee. He’s agreed to that and that’s fantastic from his point of view because he doesn’t have to give me his time, especially being a rival. But I think that goes to show what type of man he is. He’s not just the iconic manager we all know.”

That being said, Gerrard had spoken prior to Ferguson’s comments about the importance of having experienced personnel to lean on, with former Rangers managers Graeme Souness and Walter Smith coming to his aid.

“When you are trying to learn and you are striving to be better it isn’t just listening to these people after you have won a league,” he said.

“This has been a journey and sometimes you feel like you are going down the wrong road or you are hitting a few bumps or maybe you need some advice that is non-football related.

“I wouldn’t say they are all mentors – that is a bit too extreme – but it is nice to know that you can pick the phone up to someone that has been there and done it. When you are trying to learn and grow, to have people who have been so successful and who have gone through what I am going through now many, many times that is invaluable for me.”