RANGERS’ “professional and honest” performance pleased boss Steven Gerrard as the Light Blues defeated East Fife in the Betfred Cup this afternoon.
Jermain Defoe, Filip Helander and Joe Aribo were on-target in Methil as Gers made it through to face Livingston in the quarter-finals.
Speaking to RangersTV, Gerrard explained: “I thought we were very professional and we were honest in our work. We showed a good attitude and our quality shone through in the end.
“But coming to a place like this with a pitch like this where the wind is swirling, it was always going to be a challenge and a test, but we have passed that.
“We have strength in depth, good players and people waiting in the wings for an opportunity. I think a lot of people played well today, but it also shows I have got a lot of trust, belief and confidence in the players, and we are all in this together.
“If we are going to have a successful season, like I have said many times, it is about everyone contributing, so I am really happy with the outcome today.”
As the manager alluded to, conditions on the Firth of Forth coast were difficult, and he continued: “When you only have one stand, it is always going to be open and windy. We are right on the water here which you probably don’t see on the TV.
“The wind was swirling from left to right, forwards and backwards. It becomes a leveler when the pitch is not in our favour and neither are the conditions.
“They made a lot of fouls, but in the main, it was about coming, getting the job done and getting in the hat for the next round.”
Helander, Brandon Barker and Andy King were all handed debuts at some stage in the match, with Gerrard happy with what he saw from the trio.
“It was very pleasing,” he continued. “Fil came in late, and we have been trying to get him up to speed and I thought he was very professional today, played really well, had a hand in the second goal and got a clean sheet so there are a lot of positives from his performance.
“Andy and Brandon will take a little while to get up to speed, but we will get them there.
“I thought George Edmundson was outstanding and Joe Aribo, he made the trip worthwhile just watching him today. I thought he was immense and good players don’t just pick and choose when they play – they are good all the time and he has been outstanding in every game so far.”
Jamie Murphy also made the bench this afternoon, but on him, Gerrard explained: “I was thinking of maybe putting him on, but we are here on astro-turf again – and there is no evidence to say astro-turf caused the problem – but I just wasn’t comfortable putting him on there.
“We were winning the game with a clean sheet and Jake Hastie has been waiting patiently in the wings, working very hard and trained very well yesterday, so he deserved a run-out.”