STEVEN GERRARD is pleased with the points his players have secured in the Europa League so far but the away defeat to Young Boys on October 3 still irks the Gers manager.
The Light Blues now sit third in Group G with four points, with second placed Porto on the same number following last night’s 1-1 draw in the Estadio do Dragao. Young Boys are at the top with six.
Gerrard was delighted with his side’s performance in Portugal yesterday, with Alfredo Morelos equalising with a stunning finish before half-time after Luis Diaz had opened the scoring in the 36th minute for Sergio Conceicao’s side.
The Rangers gaffer, speaking at the Hummel Training Centre today, said: “I’m satisfied at the moment.
Obviously the Young Boys result doesn’t sit too well just because of the timing of it and we were so close to taking something away from that game.
“I thought with our overall performance we probably deserved something from that, so we are probably a point away from where I think we deserve to be.
“Having said that it’s still a strong start. It was a tough group and you are playing last night against a Porto team that reached the last eight of the Champions League last year.
“The players’ performance was outstanding across the board and we said that to them before the game, that this is not an opposition or a stage where we can carry anyone. I must give them all credit, they were all fantastic.”
Gerrard believes his squad has made great strides when he compares where his personnel are now to where they were 12 months ago.
He continued: “It’s a mixture of things. I think the players know how we want to play and they are really buying into it and learning and growing and developing our style.
“We’ve got better personnel and we’ve got more options. – certainly in the final third. And defensively if you look at the options I’ve got at centre back, we’ve got big players who are in terrific form – Borna, for example.
“So I think it’s a combination of things – form, personnel, tactics and players wanting to learn and grow. And also just trying to find that better level of consistency and hunger about ourselves from an individual point of view.
I think as a manager you always want it to come quicker, but it’s not something you can build overnight. You’ve got to be patient and you do need a certain amount of transfer windows and you need time on the grass together.
“You need experience together and you need setbacks to help you grow and become stronger. So it’s a combination of things, but you certainly need time and patience.
“It’s never going to be perfect but I think we have got mature players in the dressing room and we have got leaders.
“Only a few weeks ago we got it wrong at Young Boys where we didn’t manage the game and see the game out.
“We didn’t have enough leaders on the pitch to help get the team over the line. But last night I saw a different side to us so hopefully the side that I saw last night will continue.”