STEVEN GERRARD declared himself “pleased with the professional job” done by Rangers following tonight’s 6-0 Europa League qualifying win over St Joseph’s of Gibraltar tonight.
It makes for an overall 10-0 triumph on aggregate for Gers, with Alfredo Morelos grabbing a hat-trick tonight, Jermain Defoe another and one for Joe Aribo.
The manager was more pleased with the second half than the first, however and told RangersTV: “I thought we were really good second half and we entertained the crowd with a lot of positive play and some really good goals.
“I thought in the first half we were a little bit tense, a bit nervous and boring at times, and we failed to lift the crowd.
“So it was a game of two halves in terms of the performance, but over both legs, I am really pleased with the professional job and the mentality we showed.
“In the first half I was disappointed as I don’t think we expressed ourselves enough.
“When we had chances to cross, we didn’t cross, when we had the chance to play forward, we played too safe. I just thought we were a little bit boring to watch from the side.
“In the second half, we improved a lot. The tempo went up, the quality went up and we were rewarded with some excellent goals.
“People being positive individually brought out a better team performance in the second half.”
The 4-0 scoreline from the first leg allowed Gerrard the chance to rotate his squad, making nine changes, while he also handed Josh McPake a competitive debut from the bench in the second half.
He continued: “I think a lot showed, within our system and the way we played, they took their chance. A few performances within it were very mixed but we will keep working.
“We had a lot of youngsters out there today and it was a big night for them. So yes, we will continue to push and work in every department, but I was really pleased with the second half.
“[Josh] deserved that. He has been excellent in the Academy and the Reserve team games, and when he has come over to train with us, he has shown he is comfortable within the group.
“It was an opportunity to show to everyone I am prepared to give people opportunities. I am very pleased with Jake [Hastie] and now he has to go and work hard for his second one.”
Scott Arfield also returned to action after being involved for Canada at the Gold Cup, the manager adding: “On tonight’s evidence, he’s not that far away. Him and Jermain [Defoe] brought quality and class into our performance in the second half.
“Jermain got his two goals and Scott ran the game from two different positions. So we will keep pushing Scott and we will keep topping up his minutes and hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, he can find that match-sharpness he had at the back end of last season as he finished the season in terrific form.”