STEVEN GERRARD has lauded his Rangers side for their ‘outstanding’ performance in this afternoon’s 4-0 thrashing of Ligue 1 Marseille at Ibrox.
The Light Blues were hugely impressive as they put the ambitious and highly-talented French side to the sword in some style, with Gerrard thrilled with what he saw.
He told RangersTV: “I was very impressed and I thought it was an outstanding performance from a team point of view, and obviously across the board, there were a lot of very strong performances.
“Marseille had a good team with good players and a good manager, and you can see they have a very high technical level.
“It was a good test for us at the right time, and we are hoping more, high-quality opposition like that are going to roll into Ibrox if we go on a European run.
“So it was a great test for us and we have passed it with flying colours. I thought we were really, really good across the board.”
Gerrard is very much a manager for setting high standards, and to that extent, he was pleased the players’ level never dropped in the 90 minutes despite a number of changes being made during the game.
He continued: “It is pleasing for the fans to see the evidence out there on the pitch of the standards we are trying to drive. We’ll be all over the players again on Tuesday – they’ll have a down day tomorrow, and we will be all over them again standards-wise.
“We are representing Rangers, and the standards here for many, many years have been top, top drawer.
“For us to be successful and achieve things together, it is important I keep pushing alongside my staff to keep that hunger and that consistency among the lads.
“We believe the quality is in the dressing room and now it is over to them. We’ll keep pushing them.
“I think individuals coming in will certainly help that and I think you can see the quality of the new signings straight away.
“They have hit the ground running and we are hoping Filip [Helander] will follow suit. So we are really pleased with how the squad is shaping up.
“We have had two or three windows now to improve things, and we are very close to where we want to be, but now we have got to go and do all the hard work now and produce that on a regular basis when the games come around.
“People will talk about our possession and how good we were on the ball – and we were, but representing Rangers, you have to be good on the ball and you have to own it and keep the ball in tight situations.
“For me, the important thing watching Rangers from afar before I came in was I didn’t see that hunger and that intensity out of possession.
“We are hunting the ball back in packs, who will defend the colours with their lives and we have got players who are prepared to do that now.”
Half-time this afternoon saw new signing Filip Helander being introduced to the crowd at Ibrox with the manager saying of him: “You can see straight away he has a huge profile and you need that in Scotland – he’s 6’4” – so he can defend the box aerially, he is a left-footer so he gives us something we haven’t got.
“He gives us that natural balance where we will be able to play a back three if and when needed. He can handle the ball – he is an international player and he is another leader.
“I don’t feel as if we have got enough voices on the pitch, so getting another leader in will certainly help us.
“We want him to help us organise and keep clean sheets and defend the goal with his life, and for the amount of money we have paid – £3million – we feel we have an excellent player.”