STEVEN GERRARD reckons Rangers were ‘outstanding from start to finish’ as they defeated Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership this afternoon.
The Light Blues confirmed their participation in European competition next season with the victory, and Gerrard was thrilled with how his side went about their business, with two James Tavernier penalties securing the win.
The manager told RangersTV: “It is a big win and three important points that we needed to confirm second place. There was excellent quality throughout and I thought we were outstanding from start to finish.
“We could have won the game more comfortably if it weren’t for Joe Lewis and I thought he made two or three outstanding saves.
“Again, out of possession, we have been solid and we haven’t gifted anything away and we have been very professional and organised, and in possession, we look as if there is fluidity and quality, and I think the boys are enjoying it.
“That’s the only surprise analysing the game afterwards – that we didn’t get any goals in open play. But, sometimes you come up against keepers and it’s their day.
“He has rushed out twice and made two world-class saves – one from Tav and one from [Jermain] Defoe.
“So that was the only frustration at half-time that we didn’t have our noses in front. But, we have stayed, we have stayed patient, we have believed in ourselves and the breakthrough came from the spot.
“The first one was a penalty in my opinion – he stands on his foot, but the second one, I thought Niko has gone down a bit too early and I feel for the kid and hope he gets his yellow card overturned as I don’t think the second one was a penalty.
“In the main, though, I am very happy.”
Today’s victory made it four wins on the bounce for the Light Blues, with Gerrard continuing: “The boys deserve the credit for the results and the performances – they have gone out and carried it out and are enjoying how we are playing and how we are setting up.
“So yes, I am pleased, but it is important we keep pushing until the end. It is important every player – even squad players – realise the next three games are just as important as the ones which have gone before.
“I want to take maximum points.”
Gerrard introduced Lee Wallace from the bench for his first Ibrox appearance of the season late-on, but he denied that substitution had anything to do with sentiment.
The manager continued: “It was a nice moment, but Lee deserved that. He has had a very strong week in training and trained really well and strong.
“He had 45 minutes against Liverpool’s 23s and was outstanding. He was in the 18 on merit today and I just thought with the scoreline being how it was to go to a five and go a little bit more solid, so he deserved his appearance and it was nothing to do with sentiment.”
The gaffer also included Josh McPake and Dapo Mebude from the Academy in his squad today, adding: “They have been round it a couple of times before, but today I think they were round it for real. I think they are close and they are giving me something to think about.
“They are on their mind and so are a few others in the Academy. I believe in the Academy and if there is an opportunity, the boys have to be on their toes as I won’t be reluctant to put someone out there.”