STEVEN GERRARD spoke to RangersTV after this evening’s UEFA Europa League game with Bayer Leverkusen.

Here’s a summary of what he had to say…

 

How he looks back on the game…

“We’re obviously disappointed with the result and to concede three goals. I think the first one was harsh, but with VAR there, you always know that if your hand is in the wrong place, there is a chance it is going to go against you.

“That set us back and that was a blow. I thought in the first half we had a good shape about us and good organisation, but we showed them too much respect.

“I wanted us to be a bit more front-foot and try to force them into a few more mistakes than we did.

“In the second half, we were a lot better – a lot more aggressive and a lot more positive, and we went and created some real, good opportunities.

“We had them rattled at times and obviously, the fans came with us a lot more in the second half and fed off us.

“So over the course of the game, I have no complaints in terms of the result, but I am disappointed it’s 3-1 as we were poor defensively for the third goal. The second goal was a real, real high-calibre finish, but the third one we have to be better.”

 

What he can take from competing for so much of the game against a side sitting fifth in the Bundesliga…

“As a manager, you are going to try to take the positives out of it, and our second half showing was very good.

“I thought the subs were good and we showed that when we are close to our best, we can compete with this team and we showed that.

“I have a few regrets that we were too respectful in the first 45, but it is what it is and the tie sits where it is, and we will go there next week and try to give it the best fight we have got.”

 

Flo Kamberi’s impact from the bench…

“He is making it difficult for me to leave him out at the moment as even when he comes in from the bench, he is having a contribution.

“He shows energy and he is bringing a lot to the game, so he needs to continue doing what he is doing.”

 

And the performance of James Tavernier, with him overcoming an injury to make the starting XI…

“We need everyone pulling through and fighting for this shirt at the moment. We have a few injuries and a few knocks that I don’t really like touching on or complaining about, but it is what it is.

“In the next 24 hours, I am going to be looking people in the eyes and I need them to look right back at me and tell me whether they are with me at the weekend as we have a real, big game to look forward to.

“[It’s an] exciting game and a game we want to win and must win, so hopefully James can get that recovered and be available again.

“But I am really pleased that James showed leadership tonight as he played through the pain barrier for us.”

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