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PREMIERSHIP REWIND 3: ‘WE NEED TO KILL TEAMS OFF,’ GERRARD; ‘WE LOOKED A THREAT,’ RICE

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STEVEN GERRARD summed up Rangers’ 3-1 win at Hamilton Accies yesterday in two words: “Very mixed.”

The Ibrox gaffer was clearly frustrated the crucial points had not been secured long before Ryan Kent’s second goal in the 90th minute.

The £7million summer buy from Liverpool had made it 2-1 with a rasping effort in the first-half, but Gerrard had to spend some anxious moments before it was certain Gers would be back on top of the Premiership alongside Celtic on 34 points.

Ryan Jack had opened the scoring, with Lewis Smith levelling for Accies with a close-range header.

Gerrard, as reported in the BBC, said: “We have to be better in the final third and kill teams off.

“Our performance was very mixed. At times, we looked like we had a lot of quality and created lots of chances. But, at times, we looked a bit vulnerable, as well.

“We haven’t been ruthless or defended well enough.”

HIT…Ryan Kent scores the third goal against Hamilton Accies.

MISS…Accies striker Mickel Miller misses from smack in front of goal with Allan McGregor helpless.

Gerrard will now take his team to Rotterdam for Thursday’s Europa League Group meeting with Dick Advocaat’s Feyenoord and a win at De Kuip would book a place in the last 32 of the competition next year.

He commented: “We’ll need to find a better performance. This was good enough because we won the game and the points we’ve got are important.

“It’s another positive result and three points away from home against a team who were very competitive and gave their manager everything they had. So you have to give Hamilton a lot of respect and credit.”

Kent fired in his first goal of the season after cutting in from the right and sending a ferocious left-foot drive high into the top right-hand corner of the net.

Gerrard added: “I thought Ryan was terrific for large parts. His first goal was an absolute world-class strike. In any game, if you score a goal like that on your so-called weak side, you deserve a lot of credit for it.

“The second one was a composed finish which we have been working on a lot with him. That’s what he’s got to keep doing, providing those moments which help his team-mates get maximum points.

“I know everyone will get excited about his two goals, he will get the headlines and rightly so. But we still have to be patient with him because he is still searching for match fitness and sharpness, 100 per cent being at it. Those are his own words.”

Accies manager Brian Rice rued a dreadful miss from Mickel Miller from two yards, but said: “I couldn’t ask any more of my lads; the commitment, the play at times. We looked a threat.

“We knew this year was going to be really hard, with the turnover in personnel and getting the young ones in the team. But I’m really hopeful that we can kick on from the miss, take the positives and look at what we could do better.

“We are always up for a fight. You saw a team out there that never gave up. They play for one another, for me and for the club. There will be good days and there will be bad days.”

 

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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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