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Gerrard ready for Europe after friendly rout

By July 6, 2018No Comments

Steven Gerrard is confident his Rangers side is ready for their Europa League qualifier after recording an emphatic 6-0 friendly win over Bury.

The new Gers boss’ first home game in charge could not have gone better, running out comfortable winners and putting in an impressive performance.

Scott Arfield scored twice while Jamie Murphy, Alfredo Morelos, Nikola Katic and Zak Rudden got one apiece against the League Two side, who were outplayed from the first whistle.

It was the last game for Rangers before they host Macedonian side Shkupi in the first round of qualifiers next week, but Gerrard is confident they are ready and can avoid the embarrassment of last season’s exit to Progres Niederkorn.

“We are ready, we are ready for the challenge,” he said. “The expectation and pressure will be completely different to today.

“This was a friendly match against Bury; yes there was 40,000 here so there was a slight bit of pressure, especially for the new players because it’s the first time they will be judged.

“After last year of course there will be more pressure and more eyes on us, but I’m confident come kick-off that they will be ready to go.”

The large turnout in supporters was a nod to the excitement Gerrard has already generated in Glasgow since his high-profile appointment, and despite an impressive first showing, he knows there is a lot of work to do.

New boys Allan McGregor, Connor Goldson and Katic were rarely tested at the back, but Arfield looked lively and was clinical in front of goal while Jon Flanagan looked comfortable before Gerrard made changes.

“There is tonnes of work to do,” the former England skipper admitted. “We are 16 or 17 days in, but we are still getting used to each other and I’m still finding my feet around the city.

“In terms of a base and a platform, so far so good and I’m reasonably pleased.”

Although hard to judge in a game so one-sided, the Rangers side looked as though they were keen to press high up the pitch and play with high intensity and Gerrard was pleased with some of the signs on the pitch.

He added: “There are still little bits and bobs where people are maybe a couple of yards out or eight or nine are on the wavelength and one or two don’t do what we’re asking them to do.

“But I am delighted with the signs I am seeing.

“We have had to put our way of playing across to the players off the pitch and that is difficult to do.

“They took an awful lot of information in over a short time and they are having a right go at it so I can’t ask for any more.”