Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football Scottish Rangers

Rangers ready for Premiership kick-off after perfect pre-season, says Gerrard

 

Happy boss: Steven Gerrard has hailed Gers’ pre-season
Happy boss: Steven Gerrard has hailed Gers’ pre-season

By Andy Newport

Steven Gerrard hailed Rangers' performance after his side overcame Derby County in their final pre-season fixture yesterday.

The hosts dominated the Ibrox clash and, despite having just one goal - an 83rd-minute strike from Nikola Katic - to show for their efforts, the manager was thrilled with Rangers' display.

"I thought we were the better of the two teams and certainly deserved the win," said Gerrard.

"That puts us in a really good position and good shape going into next week when it gets going for real.

"They (Derby) have a coaching staff which have won leagues in Holland and they have quality throughout the team - (Martyn) Waghorn is worth £9m and their goalkeeper is a top-level goalkeeper - they have quality throughout the team and they have quality that was coming off the bench.

"The players have done themselves proud and put in a really good performance. It was us who looked the stronger of the two teams considering we are both a week out."

The Gers, who will renew Europa League rivalries with Progres Niederkorn on Thursday, commence their new Ladbrokes Premiership campaign when they travel to Kilmarnock on Sunday and Gerrard is pleased with how his men are shaping up for the return of domestic action.

"We've had one bump which was a goal we conceded against Blackburn and, besides that, we have had a perfect pre-season," he added. "But you get nothing for that - pre-season is about working hard, getting yourself fit and sharing the minutes out so everyone can get themselves in tip-top shape.

"Now that all stops and we pick players who we believe are the best to get the job done and everyone should be fighting for shirts at a big club.

"The players have got a week now to reflect on pre-season and get themselves geared up for everything coming our way.

"With all due respect, some of the games we put in place were to get fitness, minutes and to get the cobwebs off.

"But we bring the likes of Blackburn, Marseille and Derby here for a real, strong test and that is what they have given us.

"We have proved against those three teams that we are more than a match, if not more.

"I am pleased with how pre-season has gone and I am really satisfied with the place we are in going into the league season. Now we have got to go and get into the next round in Europe and we have got to go and put in such a strong performance away at Kilmarnock and try to get maximum points there."

Goalscorer Katic said: "It was a really tough game for us and I am happy I scored for us to win.

"We are happy with our performances in pre-season and we will push and keep going. I'm happy I have improved from the last game where I made the mistake and we conceded the only goal of pre-season."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph