STEVEN GERRARD spoke to his players on Tuesday morning and stressed to them the importance of discipline after Scott Arfield got Rangers’ seventh red card of the season against Hearts.

But then Alfredo Morelos was sent off for the third time, one of which was rescinded we have to say, as we lost 1-0 to Aberdeen on Wednesday night.

The manager is clearly not happy with the disciplinary record right now and I am sure he will be making that point again to the squad.

But sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you talk to players, because in the spur of the moment they do things that they shouldn’t.

When there is a 50-50 ball there, you don’t suddenly think ‘the manager says we need to not get sent off’. You can’t pull out of a tackle.

But it will be the silly cards that we have picked up, like Morelos’ second booking for flicking out at Graeme Shinnie, that will really annoy Steven. That is avoidable.

What can the manager do about that though? He can talk to players until he is blue in the face, but people will always have moments of madness when they are caught up in the game.

How many times have you seen a ball go into the box and the defender puts his arm up or punches it away? People say ‘what is he doing?’

But he doesn’t know. It just happened. The ball was there and he did it.

That can be the same with players when it comes to red cards and Alfredo will know himself that he can’t do things like that and expect to get away with it. He has got to learn.

It is great that he is scoring goals and he has probably been the best striker in Scotland this season. But if he is not on the park then he is no use to Rangers.

Steven needs him up front, not watching from afar because he has picked up too many bookings or collected silly red cards. That is no use.

The manager has done nothing but praise Morelos in the last few weeks, and rightly so because he has been in fantastic scoring form and he has been playing really well.

But there is that other side of him that he has to improve on and there is only so much that the manager can do and only so much that he can say.

The best way for him to get back at defenders that have been winding him up or silence fans that have been giving him a hard time is to put the ball in the back of the net. That is what he is good at and what he does best.

Morelos will now miss games with Dundee and Hamilton and he will be a real loss to Rangers in two fixtures that they just have to win.

There are no straightforward games in this league and both of those sides, like Aberdeen did on Wednesday night, will fight and scrap for everything against Rangers and Steven needs his players to raise their performance levels from Wednesday night.

It is obviously a problem to have received eight red cards at this stage of the season and the opposition will be aware of that. They will try and wind players up, either verbally or physically, to get a reaction.

But these things have been going on for decades, it is not as if it is something new. Players these days react differently, though, and you run the risk of being sent off.

It doesn’t matter who you are, if you keep losing a man and need to play with ten in a handful of matches, you are not going to get anywhere as a team.

Eventually it will tell on you and that was the point the manager was making this week when he said that the effort the side has had to put in recently could catch up with them later down the line.

There are only so many times you can rely on your team-mates to work harder for you and to get the result despite you being sent off. Like Wednesday, it doesn’t always happen and it wasn’t Rangers’ night.

You can’t keep asking your team-mates to dig you out of a hole and every player has to take responsibility for their actions and their behaviour.

We aren’t losing players for dirty or reckless challenges but collecting reds as regularly is a problem and it is one that has to end.