ALFREDO MORELOS has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks.
But boss Steven Gerrard is sure he will hit the goal trail once again after netting first strike of the New Year.
Police Scotland confirmed on Monday that a 12-year-old boy has been charged with aiming alleged racist abuse at Morelos during Rangers’ Old Firm win at Parkhead last month.
The Colombian has been caught up in the storm over an interview with Sky Sports and found his personal life made public over an incident involving a Private Investigator and his car.
Morelos was able to put all the off-field distractions behind him on Saturday as he scored the third goal in Rangers’ Scottish Cup win at Hamilton.
And Gerrard was pleased to see his star man, who missed three matches through suspension after the winter break, get back to doing what he does best for Rangers.
Gerrard said: “We always support all the players across the board. Family is first for me always, so it’s not just with Alfredo, I’m there for all the players to talk to.
“My door is always open. As a club, from top to bottom we always try to look after all the players, whether they be in the first team or the academy.
“Alfredo’s mindset looked alright at the weekend. He played his part in another win. I thought he looked like he was getting sharper in the Hibs game. He finished that game really strong then took that form into the weekend and got his goal, which is always important for a striker.
“I had a couple of chats with him after the winter break and he seems like he is OK to carry on playing.”
The goal against Accies – a neat header as he reacted quickly to a deflected effort from Greg Stewart – was the first that Morelos had scored since he hit the winner against Kilmarnock on Boxing Day.
Alex Dyer’s side provide the opposition once again this evening and Gerrard reckons Morelos will have a weight off his mind after his 29th strike of a prolific campaign.
He said: “As someone who has played the game myself, you can’t underestimate what a goal can do for you. I would say even more so in strikers.
“When I moved further up the pitch around the striking positions, if you used to go two, three games without a goal it could have the reverse effect.
“For him to be in the right place at the right time with the header, and he also got into another couple of opportunities. That has been the case for the last three, four games. Hopefully that will be the one that fires him to many more.”
Scott Arfield netted twice and Joe Aribo was also on target against Accies.
And Gerrard was pleased to see his midfield men chipping in with the goals.
He said: “We’ve spoken on quite a few occasions over my time here on not having a burden on certain individuals all the time. It’s important that the goals are shared out.
“It’s nice to see centre-backs contributing from set-pieces and midfielders and number 10s joining in.
“Ryan Kent’s numbers are a lot better than last season so if we can get that collectively around the group we’re going to win more football matches and give ourselves a better chance. We don’t want to be a team that relies on one or two individuals.”