STEVEN GERRARD has close to a fully-fit squad to pick from as Rangers gear-up to try and finish the job against Progres Niederkorn tomorrow night.
Gers touched down in Luxembourg late this afternoon with only Steven Davis missing from the traveling party, though Gerrard doesn’t see his hamstring injury as being a serious one.
Speaking at tonight’s press conference at Stade Josy Barthel, where tomorrow’s game will take place, Gerrard explained: “It’s a game we are looking forward to. I believe we should have got the job done a week ago but we left ourselves work to do, so we are here to do it.
“The players are in good shape and have trained really well. We have come over here with a fully-fit squad besides Steven Davis and everyone is focused and tuned-in to finish the job off.
“We know it will be tough. European games away from home, whoever you come up against, always pose you different challenges, so we believe we are ready for that and we are here to get the job done.
“[Steven] had a tight hamstring after the Derby game. I think, at a real, big push he could have been with us, but at this stage of the season and such an important player, it’s not worth taking a risk.
“I think he’ll have a good chance [of facing Kilmarnock].”
Gers missed numerous chances at Ibrox in last week’s first leg, peppering the Progres goal with shots and keeping the side from the Grand Duchy under severe pressure.
Gerrard wants more of that tomorrow, continuing: “I want to see the same positive approach. As far as I’m concerned, last week has gone and we are coming here and starting this game 0-0 and coming here to win the game.
“It is always dangerous if you start thinking about advantages and how the first leg went.
“I want the players to approach this game in isolation, and yes, I want to see us build on a very positive pre-season.
“I said to the players after the Derby game the giving people minutes and the pre-season preparation is gone – we now have to put our foot on the gas and go for real.
“We are approaching our domestic season, so we want to go into the Kilmarnock game in a good place and the only way we can do that is to get a positive result tomorrow night.
“I am looking for a good, solid, away performance and a win.”
With the SPFL Premiership opener at Kilmarnock coming on Sunday lunchtime, Gerrard will use dip into his squad, adding: “I’ll be surprised if both XI’s are exactly the same but I will be picking two very strong teams for both games.
“I think the squad we have got now, if I do make minor changes, I don’t see a big difference, but I will be very surprised if the team is exactly the same.
“Everyone is knocking on the door. This last three or four days has been very intense in training. People are wanting to start and everyone is pushing which is great for me.”
Asked about what he expects from Progres tomorrow, the manager responded: “I think they will have confidence at home. They had a couple of decent moments last week when our keeper has had to make a couple of good saves.
“I am sure they will be a bit more positive and a bit more ambitious than they were last week, but I believe if we approach it right, that should play right into our hands.
“If they approach it the same, the game will look the same as last week, but I doubt that very much because at some stage of the game they have to show their hand and come out and try to be adventurous.
“That is when we have got to really pounce on opportunities that are left behind.”
Gerrard was also quizzed about the likelihood of any further transfer business, to which he replied: “That is a possibility, but there is no rush to do that. I think the squad is in a decent place at the moment so we will go with what we’ve got at the moment.
“If something was to pop up which makes us better, and we think will make us better, we’ll take it to the board and the answer will be with them.”