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‘STILL WORK TO DO,’ GERRARD

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STEVEN GERRARD watched Rangers beat Shkupi 2-0 in his first competitive game in charge – and then stressed there is still “a lot of work to do” in the second leg.

A first-half strike from Jamie Murphy and a late penalty-kick from James Tavernier put the Ibrox side in control of the Europa League first qualifying round.

However, Gerrard was frustrated that his side were unable to take their chances to win the game more emphatically.

The rookie boss said: “I think there are a lot of positives to take from the game. We’ve won it, got a clean sheet and I thought we defended really well.

“We got the second goal in the end, but one concern would be that we didn’t win the game a lot more comfortably and put the whole tie to bed.

“I thought we created enough to win more convincingly, so we’re still in a tie, we’re still in a game and there is still a lot of work to do.”

As the Liverpool legend prepared for the return leg in Macedonia on Tuesday, he added: “I think the clean sheet is very important and it was nice to get a bit of relief with the second goal.

“I don’t think we can question any of the players’ effort or commitment or application. I thought they gave it everything and the fans stayed with them all the way through, so I’m very pleased about a lot of it. The only thing is we didn’t win the game more convincingly.

“We controlled a lot of it, most of it, we were a bit careless at times in a few moments, but it’s the first real game and people are trying to over-impress, people are a bit tense and are still searching for that full sharpness and full fitness. All in all, though, yes, I’m satisfied.

“We all have to look forward to Tuesday and realise that we’re still in a game, it’s not over and there is still a lot of work to do.”

* Gerrard was speaking to Rangers TV.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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