Wednesday 14 November 2018

Rangers advance in Europa League qualifying but Gerrard admits 'there's a hell of a lot of work to do'

Shkupi 0 Rangers 0

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard during the Europa League, Qualifying Round One, First Leg match at Ibrox, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard during the Europa League, Qualifying Round One, First Leg match at Ibrox, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Steven Gerrard admitted he has concerns about Rangers' shot-shy strike-force after their stalemate with FK Shkupi in Macedonia.

The Glasgow club squeezed into the second Europa League qualifying round 2-0 on aggregate following a goalless second leg in Skopje on Tuesday evening, but new boss Gerrard confessed afterwards that he was worried about his side's lack of cutting edge.

"I'm a bit mixed right now," the former Liverpool captain told RangersTV. "We're pleased with one side of the game but there is certainly a hell of a lot of work to do on the other side.

"Out of possession we were good, our shape was good. We were aggressive and I'm pleased with the clean sheet. I thought Allan McGregor and my two centre-backs (Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic) were outstanding."

The hosts at the Philip II Arena rarely looked capable of troubling the Light Blues, but visiting goalkeeper Allan McGregor did have to produce a crucial stop late on to ensure Shkupi were not thrown a last-gasp glimmer of hope.

Rangers progressed to face either Petrocub of Moldova or Croatian side Osijek, but Gerrard accepted he has work to do to ensure his side are not left firing blanks once more.

He continued: "Shkupi got one real chance on goal late on which we will look at but our game management was really good. We handled everything that was put at us bar that one chance.

"So there is definitely a base there for how we want to look away from home. It's a platform to build on.

"But I'm disappointed with us in possession for the first 30 minutes. I don't think we passed the ball well enough, and throughout the game there was a serious lack of quality in the final third.

"We will get better on the ball and we will improve in the final third.

"There are things I'm pleased at, but I am concerned about the lack of quality in the final third."

Online Editors

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