STEVEN GERRARD was disappointed after Rangers passed up the opportunity of three points in their 1-1 Europa League Group A draw with Brondby in Copenhagen last night.
The Ibrox boss watched his own defender Leon Balogun knock the ball beyond the helpless Allan McGregor to gift the Danes the lead just on half-time.
However, substitute Ianis Hagi rifled in the equaliser and the draw keeps the champions in third place, below Sparta Prague on goal difference but knowing that a win by more than one goal against the Czech side at Ibrox on November 25 will guarantee passage to the next round.
THE EQUALISER…Steven Gerrard celebrates Rangers’ goal against Brondby.
Gerrard said: “I think there was more than a point there for us.
“Obviously, when you go a goal behind at this level, to take something out of the game is a positive, I suppose, but I think having competed against that opposition I think they were there for the taking for maximum points.
“I think we’ve underperformed, certainly in the first-half. There was a massive improvement when I made the substitutions. We passed the ball better, looked more dangerous and we were overloading them in the right areas.
“But in the first-half, I thought the whole game was lacking in quality, to be honest.”
The turning point came just before the hour mark when Alfredo Morelos, Fashion Sakala and Scott Arfield were replaced by Kemar Roofe, Ryan Kent and Hagi.
OH GEE…Rangers defender Leon Balogun shows his dismay after his own goal blunder.
Gerrard, speaking to STV, added: “Maybe I got the front three wrong or the front three didn’t bring to the game what I wanted and expected of them. There are probably two sides of it.
“Once we got the right players on the pitch with quality in the right areas, we passed through them. I thought we looked more dangerous and if any team was going to go on and win the game it was us. But we left it too late by only starting at half-time.
“It was certainly a fantastic goal. I though Ianis and Ryan Kent were fantastic in the time they were on the pitch.
“I think after the start we made losing two games, to have the opportunity to win by two clear goals at Ibrox and qualify is probably a decent position to be in.
“But we’re going to need a better level of performance, than the first-half certainly, if we’re going to go and achieve that.
BY THE RIGHT…substitute Ianis Hagi prepares to drill in the leveller.
“It’s there for us – Ibrox, full house, massive game. I don’t think we’ve really got going in terms of the Europa League campaign so far.
“Hopefully, we can keep everyone healthy, get people up to speed with more fitness and put a real strong side out that can give us a chance of achieving that.”
Meanwhile, Rangers have announced a loss of £23.5million for the year ending June 2021 as they struggled throughout the Covid pandemic.
The figure is up nearly £8million from last year and comes despite Gerrard’s men winning the club’s first title in a decade.
Revenue at Ibrox has dropped by £13million and in a statement Rangers put much of that down to the impact of the pandemic.