IT isn’t just Steven Gerrard who carries the scars of the late slip-up which cost Liverpool their hopes of a famous Premier League win back in 2013-14.

Jon Flanagan made 26 appearances for his boyhood heroes that season too, and it would take something pretty special to give him closure from the pain of falling short at the death. Something like delivering the Ladbrokes Premiership title to prevent rivals Celtic making it nine, or even ten, top flight titles in a row..

“I played a lot of games in the season where we almost won the league at Liverpool,” said Flanagan. “To lose out that year was a big disappointment for myself and everyone connected to the club.

“Personally, it was a high to go on a run and play for the team I grew up supporting,” he added. “But to come so close and for it to end like it did – we lost out by just two points – was difficult.

“That's football, it's not nice to lose out like that. But you have to try and store it, push on and go again. If we could win the league at Rangers, it would certainly help move that on for me that a bit in my head. That's the aim here, it's what everyone wants.”

This Rangers team don’t have a Raheem Sterling or a Luis Suarez to call upon, although they do have a fiery, free-scoring frontman with a Latin temperament up front in the form of Alfredo Morelos. And unless their manager is persuaded to pull his boots on again, they don’t possess a midfielder with quite the same bled of qualities as Gerrard. But, while it is early days, Flanagan sees some similarities where it comes to the togetherness and fighting spirit they displayed to dig themselves out of a hole on the opening day at Rugby Park.

“At Liverpool that year, we just had a great team spirit,” said Flanagan. “Every week we were fighting for each other and I think we've got that in this group at Rangers.”

If there is one position in the Rangers line-up this season which has been a cause of uncertainty it is the left back position. Borna Barisic, a first-choice selection for World Cup finalists Croatia, and Andy Halliday have both been tried in there but right now Flanagan seems the most convincing of the three. Having made the position his own in the last six matches of the previous campaign, his recall to the side after a pre-season injury for the fine first leg win at FC Midjytlland in midweek helped Rangers. In truth, all three will probably be needed this season but don’t be surprised if Flanagan is the man who starts all of the big games, even if he is right footed.

“It was a great to get back out there,” Flanagan admitted. “It was very frustrating to be out injured as you said there but I would rather get it done now and be available for the rest of the season. I am made up that the manager put me back in. I am just trying to repay him with my performances.

“The team performance as a whole was great, everyone to a man played well and did their jobs. But all I can do is play as well as possible and get as many goals as possible. My aim is to stay in the team this season and perform at a consistent level. I can't take anything for granted. Personally, I want to play every minute of every game. I'll do everything I can to stay in the team. I'll play wherever the manager wants to play me."

A year in, these two Scousers have fallen in love with life in Glasgow. “My relationship with the gaffer is obviously different now," said Flanagan. "Before, we were players together but now it's player and manager. But it's still good, it always has been and hopefully it always will be.

“I can see what it means to the manager to be here at Rangers – and what it would mean to be successful. Everyone knows he's a winner. His mentality is just to win and he's brought that to this group. That's what he wants, the players want it and so do that fans. That's everyone's goal this season.

“We've got a lot of talent and we're all together. There's a good feeling about it. We've added to the squad, we've got more strength in depth. Going into a lot of games, we'll be stronger this season. I definitely think we'll be better prepared this season to play in the league and Europe, with the squad we've got.

“It's encouraging that we've shown great character to respond the way we did at Kilmarnock and on Thursday night when we took a blow. We got the win at Kilmarnock and in Denmark we stood up to the challenge against a good side. When we had a five minute dip, we pulled ourselves out of it."

While no-one knows more about what Flanagan has to offer than Gerrard, another Scotland legend in the form of Kenny Dalglish who gave him his breakthrough. “I haven’t really spoken to Kenny recently,” said Flanagan. “But he gave me a chance and I am grateful to him for that. He knew me from being a young lad in the academy, pushed me up to Melwood, gave me my debut. I always have to be thankful to him, it was a good moment for me.”