STEVEN GERRARD was delighted to see his side beat FC Midtjylland 3-1 at Ibrox tonight and the stunning performances from his forward players Sheyi Ojo and Alfredo Morelos.
Colombian striker Morelos took his European tally for Rangers to eleven with two superb finishes from Ojo’s assists for the first and third goals on 14 and 49 minutes.
Buffalo also turned provider for the on-loan Liverpool winger for goal number two before half-time, with Sheyi firing home from close range from Alfredo’s accurate cut-back cross.
The manager said: “I’m very pleased with the result over the two legs. I think we’ve been outstanding and certainly deserved to progress.
“I think we’ve been very comfortable in the end. Obviously the last half an hour we were a bit sloppy, a bit careless, and the atmosphere in the ground changes.
“We need to learn from that and see games out better and manage the game better. I’m looking for my experienced players to just pull us together and just see the game out in a better way.
“But over the course of the two legs we’ve been really good and we’ve looked very strong.
I think I always had confidence we could progress tonight. The players are in a good place, the mentality and the hunger is there, and we are really keen to keep a consistent run going.
“I was confident and I had belief in the players they would get the job done, but of course getting the early goal always settles everyone, the crowd and certainly us as a staff.”
On Ojo and Morelos, Gerrard continued: “They are two great players, very mobile and very hungry to go and get numbers in the game.
“I thought Sheyi was outstanding today but I think Jordan Jones has been really strong in his last couple of performances so I was keen to get him a run-out as well.
“But Sheyi will take a lot of the plaudits and a lot of credit tonight. I think that’s the real Sheyi. If we can find that on a consistent basis and bottle that performance he’ll certainly make us stronger.
“Alfredo is Alfredo. He attacks the goal frame, shows great composure for his first goal and great control for the second one.
“Unfortunately he wasn’t able to stay on the pitch for obvious reasons but I’m really pleased with all the front men with Scotty Arfield getting the assist as well. So really pleased.
I think in terms of numbers and personnel we look very strong, but players need to keep stepping up and keep performing.
“It’s no good having numbers and names, we need people to come in like Sheyi tonight and perform and Jordan Jones in the previous games. Jermain Defoe gets a hat-trick at the weekend, Alfredo two.
“So when you get the opportunity keep contributing and keep getting us the numbers that get important victories.”
Only Legia Warsaw now stand between Rangers and a place in the Europa League group stage and Gerrard is looking forward to the play-off round fixtures.
He added: “Well, they have got big experience in Europe so they certainly deserve respect.
“They have kept a lot of clean sheets of late and we go to a hostile environment away from home first and foremost. But it’s a game we are really looking forward to and I think it will be a great tie.
“It’s certainly a 50/50 tie in my opinion and it’s one that all the players are really relishing.”
Next up for the Gers is their first Betfred Cup match against East Fife on Sunday and Gerrard admits there will be changes to his team.
He said: “Yeah the pack will be shuffled. I’ll give people an opportunity, people who have been giving me the daggers and sly looks over the last couple of weeks for not getting enough game time.
“My message to them is go on, let’s see what you’ve got, there’s your opportunity. But this is a huge game and if we want the more glamorous ties further in the competition and we want to go to Hampden and compete for silverware, you have got to go and deal with East Fife away from home on a tricky pitch.
“But the message will be clear at the weekend, go on then, take your opportunity.”