STEVEN Gerrard and Steve Clarke have had some tense moments this season but the Kilmarnock manager has backed his former player to do a good job at Rangers.

The pair worked together as coach and captain at Liverpool so there is nobody in Scotland who knows the 38-year-old better.

They meet again this afternoon after a bad week for Gerrard and defeat by Kilmarnock at Ibrox would make life even more uncomfortable for the former England captain.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on Steven,” said Clarke. “He’s done a good job in his first season in management so there’s no added advantage for us.

“Rangers will be looking to bounce back in front of their own supporters and we’re looking to build another winning run so it should be a good game.

“You’re always learning as a manager. Every day you encounter different problems, whether it’s

players coming to tell you about this or that or whether it’s things on the training ground and it’s just a case of building up experience and learning how to deal with all the little incidents.

“Sometimes the big results go for you and sometimes they don’t but it’s all part and parcel of becoming a better manager.

“I know Steven; he’s intelligent, has a good football brain and he’s also a good person. I’m sure he’ll learn a lot from his first season.”

In management terms, Gerrard is a child. Clarke was 10 years older when he took his first management job and that came after 10 years and more of coaching with, among others, Kenny Dalglish and Jose Mourinho.

So, would he have taken on such a big job at such a young age?

“I think you always over-estimate your own ability,” said Clarke with a grin. “I don’t think anybody would turn down the chance to work for a club that size, whether it’s your first job or your 10th job. You have a big decision to make.

“Steven was a top, top player and I’m sure he’ll become a top, top manager. He’s at a good club to achieve that because he has the financial resources behind him, a big stadium and a big support. He’s in a great position to do well.”

Clarke made the point that during the week it was more Aberdeen playing well than Rangers not being up to it.

However, the Kilmarnock boss knows that in Glasgow it is often either success or failure with nothing in-between.

“The spotlight is on Steven now,” said Clarke “When Celtic or Rangers lose a big game, the focus is always on how bad they were rather than how good the opposition might have been.”

Kilmarnock were not doing so well themselves but Monday’s win at St Mirren put Clarke’s team back in the race for the top four.

The manager always felt that his team would come good.

“I don’t think there was anything to panic about because we had done an awful lot of really good work in the first part of the season,” he said.