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Gerrard admits Rangers suffered a concentration lapse in yesterday’s match

Gerrard admits Rangers suffered a concentration lapse in yesterday's match
Image Credit: Sky Sports

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has cautioned his players that unless they significantly improve against Malmo next week, their Champions League hopes would be dashed.

Rangers looked sloppy and unconvincing for the majority of the night until being undone by Soren Rieks and Veljko Birmancevic in a terrible two-minute span.

While experienced Davis’ deflected injury-time strike halved the Rangers’ lead, Gerrard believed the display fell far short of the expectations set by his team.

‘We are disappointed with the result, disappointed with a couple of the goals we conceded but I think there has just been a big moment at the very end of that game that has obviously gone in our favour,’ he reflected after his first loss in a qualifier.

‘It is a big moment, in my opinion, and it sets it up for next week. It is not the position that we wanted to be in, but it is obviously better than going in 2-0 (down) and we were also maybe on the verge of going in even worse as well.

‘The injury time has been big for us, but our performance over the 90 minutes hasn’t been good enough.

‘We are going to have to go up levels individually and collectively next week. I am going to call on the Ibrox crowd. I have never done it before, but we are going to need them. We are going to need them for a full 90 minutes. With that behind us, and the mentality change in injury time, it could be a big moment.’

‘I thought at half time we were okay, we were fine, we were in a good shape and looking the more likely at half time,’ Gerrard reflected.

‘We lost our way for four, five minutes and conceded two poor goals. The first one may have been offside, I am not sure. Even still, we have got to defend that better from that moment.

‘The second goal, we never really cleared our heads after the first goal and we got punished and that is what happens at this level. You are playing against good footballers and good teams.’

‘We had two magnificent performances tonight,’ said Gerrard.

‘I thought Fil Helander played at Champions League level, he was outstanding. Steven Davis, I am running out of plaudits for Davo. He is someone that doesn’t give up, keeps going to the end, and he has provided a real big moment that has given us an important lifeline going into next week. It is what it is. I don’t think we deserved to lose the game 2-0, or any worse than that.’

‘I need to get some bodies back to help us,’ he said. ‘You could see tonight we were very young in terms of the bench and we didn’t have many options behind us.

‘It is difficult to throw young lads into that situation so I wanted to protect them. Fashion (Sakara) came on and made a difference I thought when we went two up front and pinned their centre halves back.

‘At the weekend (at Dundee United) I am hoping to have Aribo, Kamara, Roofe, (Leon) Balogun available, obviously big Jon (McLaughlin) comes back into the thinking as well. We will be a lot stronger at the weekend in terms of the squad and we will need to be and we will need to perform better. I have just said to the boys in there, in my honest opinion, there are six or seven that need to raise their level and raise it sharply.’


Written by Quincy Charles

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