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Gerrard hails Hagi's instant impact

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Good start: Steven Gerrard is happy with Ianis Hagi’s form

Good start: Steven Gerrard is happy with Ianis Hagi’s form

PA

Good start: Steven Gerrard is happy with Ianis Hagi’s form

Steven Gerrard believes Ianis Hagi has adapted to life at Rangers quicker than expected after an impressive performance by the Romania international in Saturday's 4-1 win at Hamilton.

The 21-year-old midfielder scored his first Gers goal to give the Light Blues three valuable Ladbrokes Premiership points against Hibernian at Ibrox last Wednesday night.

In his third appearance, the on-loan Genk man came close to getting his second in the William Hill Scottish Cup tie against Accies when he headed a Ryan Kent cross past the post.

However, after the Ibrox side made their way into the quarter-finals - where they will travel to Hearts - Gerrard declared himself pleased with Hagi's slick assimilation.

The Light Blues boss said: "What I will say is that because Ianis' English is very good and because of the talent and intelligence of the player, I think it is happening quicker than we originally thought.

"He could again have scored a goal by being in the right area, unfortunately he couldn't finish the header.

"He also had some other real wonderful classy bits about his play.

"Again, it was an impressive performance considering it is his second start and obviously his first time at Hamilton on a difficult pitch. So I was really pleased with his showing again."

Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos scored for the first time in five games to take his tally for the season to 29.

Scott Arfield had given the visitors the lead - netting after Accies keeper Luke Southwood had parried his spot kick - before Hamilton midfielder Lewis Smith levelled with a drive.

Midfielder Joe Aribo struck in the 68th minute and Morelos headed in a third with five minutes remaining before Arfield scored with a wonderful drive in added time.

Gerrard was happy to say "job done" after the win against their Premiership rivals, who made six changes to their starting line-up and who had to use all three substitution with the second half to play.

He said: "We finished the game off well by being clinical in front of goal so that was very pleasing.

"We had a few defensive issues in the first half that we needed to iron out but once we done that we were very comfortable in the game.

"But Hamilton caused us some problems in the first half, defensively we weren't at it.

"We should have been better defensively and if we had been, we could have been more comfortable at half-time. I wanted the luxury of getting the game finished as quick as we can but unfortunately we didn't have that luxury.

"In the second half we controlled everything and scored some really good strong goals."

Belfast Telegraph