STEVEN GERRARD reckons his side’s second-half performance was ‘on a different level’ as Rangers hammered St Johnstone in Perth this afternoon.
The Light Blues were blistering in the second half – running in four goals without reply – and it could have been more for Gerrard’s rampant side.
Speaking to RangersTV in the Fair City, the boss explained: “I’m very pleased. I thought in the first half we lacked a bit of cutting edge and we were a little bit flat – people will maybe go back to Thursday night but I’m not having that as we finished the game really strong and really powerful.
“We were full of running and full of energy, and I said to the players at half-time that I thought we had more to give.
“I asked them for more in the second half and I certainly got it – I thought the second half performance was on a different level to the first.
“We looked hungry, full of running and full of energy and could have scored a few more goals.
“People might go back to their chance that has been cleared off the line on a couple of occasions – but it is not a goal – Steven Davis has done fantastically well and I thought that summed his performance up today. He was outstanding.”
The way Gers dismantled the low-block of the home side in the second half was outstanding – and it’s something the manager wants to see repeated when they come up against such tactics.
“I want runs to disrupt it,” continued the manager, “I want combinations, I want one v ones and I want people unselfishly running without the ball to disrupt the block and disrupt the line.
“If everything is in front of them like it was in the first half, you don’t create many chances. It’s play we have done lots and lots of work on so the players know – and the players knew at half time we had gears to go into.
“They just needed reminding – but certainly not from a physical point of view because if you were going to feel the effects of Thursday it would probably would have been in the second half, so it is just a mental state – we needed to mentally switch on more and give a bit more – and we did and they deserve a lot of praise for the second half performance.”
Both Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe netted in the rout, the latter grabbing a double having replaced the Colombian from the bench.
The duo have already hit a combined 20 goals this season, and Gerrard is thrilled with what he is getting from them.
He continued: “They get on really well. They are both working hard, they both look sharp and it is tempting all the time to swap and change, but I just thought Buff on Thursday night was unplayable at times, and he is the type of striker that likes to continue to play, so we left him in today and he got us the breakthrough.
“But, JD has just as important a part to play to come on to kill the game off. He had a volley and I know he will be disappointed about that, but his two other finishes were terrific.
“I love the second one the way he got it out his feet to finish it off. JD has done that and made a career out of it – he is top-drawer.”
Gers now head to Livingston in the League Cup on Wednesday, with the boss adding: “We always knew this block of fixtures was going to be important. Livingston to start it off and then going into Feyenoord with the emotion from Fernando’s passing.
“It has been a big week and now we go into midweek and we have a quarter-final match and the chance to get to Hampden is big.
“The players know it’s big and we are going to need more of the second-half-type performances from people if we have any ambitions of being in the semi-final.
“It’s what I want, it’s what the fans want and I just hope the players want it as much as us.”