RONALD de Boer has urged Rangers supporters to remain patient with Steven Gerrard as he strives to make the Ibrox club the dominant force in Scottish football again.

Gerrard has come in for criticism from some supporters in the past 10 days following some disappointing performances and poor results.

The Glasgow club, who had moved into first place in the Ladbrokes Premiership table with a win over Hearts at Tynecastle, lost to Aberdeen at home and drew with Dundee away in the league last week.

They were beaten 1-0 by a mediocre Rapid Vienna side in Austria on Thursday evening to miss out on a place in the last 32 of the Europa League.

But De Boer, the former Dutch internationalist who spent four seasons playing for Rangers and who helped them win a domestic treble in 2003, feels the Liverpool and England great needs long than six months to rebuild his old club.

“It takes time to turn things around,” he said. “Look at where they have come from. There was a very big gap with Celtic. You can see that the gap has narrowed, but it is still not closed.

“To see Rangers challenging for the Premiership is only good for Scottish football. You can see that Celtic aren’t winning every game as easily as they were. They have to play at their best every time to win.

“Recent results have been disappointing. But what is happening at Rangers at the moment is encouraging. They have a great manager. The board and technical director should be complimented for the appointing Steven Gerrard as manager.

“He is such a big name. Immediately, people looking at the club from outside think: ‘Rangers is a serious club and must be taken seriously again’. That is great for the fans. They are doing better with a young team. That takes a little bit of time. But I feel they are on the right tracks.”

De Boer admitted he was looking forward to playing for a Rest of the World side in the Star Sixes, a competitive six-a-side tournament for legendary former players, at the SSE Hydro in January.

“I don’t play that much any more apart from veterans’ games with Barcelona, Ajax and the Dutch team,” he said. “But I can still run a little bit and kick a ball. I always played with my brain anyway. The brain goes faster than the ball and the body.”

Star Sixes reunites the world’s greatest players in national team colours to renew old rivalries in six-a-side action. It will be played at the SSE Hydro, Glasgow, from January 4 to 6. Tickets from £20/£10 at