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Steven Gerrard hails Jordan Jones as he calls on aces to net trophy

Class act: Jordan Jones (far right) has been hailed by Steven Gerrard
Class act: Jordan Jones (far right) has been hailed by Steven Gerrard

By Andy Newport

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has told his players to keep their feet on the ground until they deliver a trophy.

The Ibrox boss, who has made Brandon Barker his eighth summer signing after handing the Manchester City winger a three-year deal, was left purring after Thursday night's 4-2 Europa League win over Midtjylland as he hailed his team's near-perfect display in Denmark.

However, a six-minute "wobble" nearly cost his side dear as they threw away two goals after racing 3-0 ahead.

Scott Arfield restored calm as he fired the fourth to leave the Light Blues jubilant but Gerrard does not want his players getting overexcited with their victory, and will make it clear he wants minds fully focused on tomorrow's visit of Hibernian to Ibrox in the league.

The manager said: "I don't think anyone's feet at this place should be off the ground because we haven't achieved anything together from a success point of view.

"We've done extremely well to qualify for the group stages last year and showed big signs that we're moving forward and improving. But no one's feet should come off the ground at this place until we see trophies and real success.

"If I see any individuals or groups of players getting ahead of themselves they will be told straight."

Alfredo Morelos, Joe Aribo and Nikola Katic also struck in Jutland to leave the Light Blues with one foot in the play-off round.

Gerrard had freshened his side up for Thursday's clash with five changes and was delighted to see those he gave a chance to making the most of it.

He said: "I've made it clear to the whole squad that people have to be ready. Not everyone will play every game. If we're to go on a European journey and play a 60-game season then it's impossible to play in every game.

"So when you're called upon you have to do the shirt justice and put in a performance that gives me a problem when I'm picking my next team.

"I'm starting to see signs of that. Jordan Jones got his chance and I thought he really announced himself as a Rangers player. He gave the team oxygen in a very tough game.

"My experience of playing away in Europe from a physical point of view is that the lungs and breathing is tough at times and you need ball carriers too. And I thought Jordan was excellent, which is a great sign.

"Jon Flanagan was back in too. He was one of our most consistent players at the end of last season. Unfortunately he had a niggle with his groin in pre-season and we had a decision to make.

"Do we push him through to the winter break or clear his mind of this niggle and get it fixed? He came through his first 90 minutes in such a tough game and he was the one I was most pleased for.

"When you sit down with these players, they all talk about wanting to play for Rangers in Europe. That's great but you have to deliver for Rangers in Europe."

Barker has now been added to Gerrard's list of attacking options having joined from City for an undisclosed fee.

And the Ibrox boss believes the former Hibs winger could provide the key to helping his side unlock stuffy defences this season.

The Light Blues boss, who confirmed Glenn Middleton will make his own Leith loan move after Sunday's showdown with Paul Heckingbottom's team, said: "He's the type of player we've been looking for. Last year at times I didn't feel we had enough in the final third in certain areas.

"The idea this year was to build a squad with exciting players who can open the door in different ways.

"I wanted to have everything in our repertoire so that we have enough answers in the final third of the pitch."

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