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Only way is up for Gers under Gerrard, insists chairman King

 

By Andy Newport

Dave King has backed Rangers to go from strength to strength under Steven Gerrard despite his underwhelming start to the job.

The rookie Ibrox boss has successfully negotiated his first test after guiding Gers past opening Europa League opponents FK Shkupi, but there was not much to get excited about following the 2-0 aggregate win as the Light Blues laboured to see off their Macedonian opponents.

First-leg goals from Jamie Murphy and James Tavernier at Ibrox gave Gerrard's side a crucial advantage, but the former Liverpool and England captain has warned his shot-shy strike force to sharpen up after drawing a blank in the Skopje return.

However, chairman King insists he is encouraged after they saw off a repeat of last year's humiliating first-round exit to Luxembourg no-hopers Progres Niederkorn.

In a pre-season address on the club's website, the South Africa-based businessman said: "It was pleasing to see the new squad settling down with the successful navigation last night (especially after last year) of a potentially tricky Europa League fixture with two clean sheets to the players' credit.

"I am conscious that we were top scorers in the SPFL last season but conceded far too many to be able to finish higher than third. This leakage will be much reduced in the coming season.

"This team will continue to improve which makes me more relaxed for this coming season than I have been for any since the regime change."

Meanwhile, Gers have confirmed they have terminated Harry Forrester's contract "by mutual consent".

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