STEVEN GERRARD believes his team “got away with one” as they netted late to sink Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership.
The Light Blues fell behind in the first half to the Steelmen before levelling before the break through Jermain Defoe.
Filip Helander then struck 10 minutes from time to seal the points – and Gerrard wasn’t overly impressed with his team’s approach to parts of the match.
He told RangersTV: “I think we have got away with one today as I don’t think we were at our best, certainly for large parts of the first half.
“I was happy with the reaction from half-time – I thought we were much better in the second and did the basics better in the second half and really looked like a team that wanted to win a football match while in the first half, we were a little bit all over the place.
“We only had half the team who were at it and that can never be the case as I thought Motherwell were really good today.
“They came with two up front and caused us a lot of problems. But, a lot of the reasons why it was wrong first half were self-inflicted.
“We never did the basics well at all.
“It is a positive to win the game when you are not at your best – 100 per-cent. I know it’s an old cliché and many managers before me have said that – and it is important when we are not at it that we get maximum points.
“But, I am always searching for standards across the board, and certainly here at Ibrox we can’t be a team that doesn’t focus on second balls or competing or winning long balls or fighting or scrapping – you have to earn the right and compete first before your quality is shown.
“I think that is what has disappointed me today that we haven’t been difficult to play against and we haven’t been tough and we haven’t competed well enough.”
The manager also spoke about James Tavernier after the skipper missed a first-half penalty.
Gerrard said: “James has been in the firing line for a few weeks, and today there were a few more groans which isn’t helpful.
“But, he has shown great character by putting in the perfect delivery, and Fil has shown great leadership by wanting to go and be first and wanting to get his team a big win.
“I am very pleased with that goal. I thought [Jermain] Defoe’s goal was typical Defoe – right place at the right time and I thought he today, his performance was one of a few good ones as I don’t think we got the level of performance that we certainly showed in midweek.
“I have a lot to think about in terms of what we do now for the remainder of the week. We have another big game on Wednesday and we have a few injuries and we have a big semi-final next week. I have a lot of thinking to do.
“[James] never hides, and I think he needs me and he needs his teammates at the moment. I don’t think there is a lot wrong and he will play through this and he will come back to his best which is top.
“We haven’t got many options to replace him – we have had injuries to Flanagan. I think James needs the crowd with him at this moment, and that will help him to play through this little barren spell he is having.”