STEVEN GERRARD hailed his Rangers players for winning ugly in their 1-0 victory over Dundee at Dens Park.
Joe Aribo slotted in the only goal of a dour confrontation on Tayside with keeper Jon McLaughlin denying the home side a second-half equaliser when he blocked a wayward penalty-kick from Jason Cummings that was blasted straight down the middle.
Ibrox gaffer Gerrard said: “We knew what type of game to expect. We came here knowing there are certain SPFL games where you are going to have to hustle, grind and fight.
“You have got to do the ugly bits and I thought to a man we were really honest and tried to defend as best we can.
“There are still bones we can pick out of it. In and out of possession, there were times we could have killed the game with a bit more quality.
“But we’ve come here and taken three points and I think the players showed hunger for those. No-one will remember how we got them in time. We have also managed to keep people fresh for Thursday.”
THE WINNER…Joe Aribo (extreme right) slots away the Rangers points clincher.
PENALTY-KICK MISS…Jason Cummings watches keeper Jon McLaughlin block his spot-kick.
Aribo hit the winner early in the confrontation after Alfredo Morelos had set up the opportunity.
James McPake’s side were given the opportunity to get back into the contest when McLaughlin brought down Paul McMullan inside the box. Referee Bobby Madden booked the Ibrox netminder who then kept out Cummings’ effort.
Gerrard, speaking to the Scottish Sun, said: “It was a fantastic assist for the goal, it is something we work on in terms of patterns.
“We scored a very similar goal at Ross County so credit to the lads for carrying that out.
“I just felt at the end we could have got that second. If you don’t get that second goal, then teams can hurt you with long balls into the box.
“We’ve had to rely on Jon to dig us out at the end so there is a lot to work on.”
Gers now face Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic on Thursday in the second game in the Europa League after losing 2-0 to Lyon in the opening match.