STEVEN Gerrard is hoping Rangers can make amends for missing out on the Betfred Cup final – by moving to the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership for the first time in his reign.

The Ibrox club failed to clinch a place in the final against Celtic when they crashed to a 1-0 defeat to Aberdeen in the semi-final at Hampden in October.

But they can take advantage of their Glasgow rivals not having a game this weekend by beating third-placed Hearts at Tynecastle tomorrow and leapfrogging the leaders in the top flight table.

“We’d love to be in the final,” said Gerrard. “We’re not going to lie. It hurt going out in the semi and it always does. I won’t kid anyone that it doesn’t.

“We’d much rather be playing in the cup final of course, but that’s gone and we’ve moved on.

“The reaction since then has been positive and I expect the players to put in a performance against Hearts and it would be nice to sit top.

“It would be fantastic if we sit top after the weekend. But we are well aware you don’t get anything for sitting top at this stage of the season. We need to keep pushing every single game.”

Meanwhile, Gerrard has revealed Rangers are considering their options following the red card that Daniel Candeias was shown in the Europa League group game against Villarreal at Ibrox on Thursday night.

The former Champions League winner, whose side drew 0-0 with their Spanish rivals to keep their hopes of reaching the last 32 alive, felt the ordering off for a second bookable offence was harsh on the winger.

“I feel for Daniel,” he said. “It was quite harsh. We had three defenders around the Villarreal player, pressing and hunting in packs, which is what we want.

“One of the three was guilty of a foul, but I’m not sure any of them was guilty of a yellow card. We feel a little hard done by but it is what is and we move on.

“I don’t see any unsporting behaviour. I see a foul and I get why they referee gave it, but I can’t understand a yellow card. I don’t see, even after it, that my players have done anything wrong.

“We’re analysing the incident now. I’ll speak to our powers that be and see if there’s a situation if we can appeal and then we’ll make a decision if we do or not. But it is what it is.”

Meanwhile, Gerrard has appealed to Rangers, who are facing a UEFA fine after one of their supporters ran onto the pitch and abused the linesman following the Candeias red card, to remain in their seats in future.

“It was over the other side and I wasn’t aware until after the game,” he said. “But of course fans need to stay in their seats otherwise there will be repercussions. I’m sure we will hear from UEFA very soon on that one.

“It will affect the club - more often than not it’s financial as well which doesn’t help. We ask the supporters to keep doing what they are doing and supporting us, but they have to stay in their seats.”

Gerrard revealed Borna Barisic, the Croatian left back who has been sidelined with a muscle injury since September, could return against Hearts. “He’s in full training and we have to decide if he can cope physically,” he said. “He’s certainly up for selection.”