Rangers: ‘Warning signs’ in Blackburn draw, says boss Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard says Rangers got “the kick up the backside we need” as they prepared for Europa League action with a 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers.
Gerrard’s side dominated much of the Ibrox friendly and led through a first-half Jermain Defoe header, but Lewis Travis levelled after the break.
Rangers host Progres Niederkorn in the second qualifying round on Thursday.
“We’re probably one goal away from everything looking really rosy,” the Ibrox manager told RangersTV.
Travis’s strike for the English Championship club was the first goal conceded by Rangers in four matches after friendly wins over Oxford United and Marseille and a 10-0 aggregate rout of St Joseph’s in the Europa League.
And while “pleased with a lot of the performance”, Gerrard urged his players to cut out the mistakes.
“The two learning things to come out of the game are we need to take our chances to kill teams off and we can’t turn the ball over in dangerous areas, because dangerous teams will punish you,” he explained.
“Going back to last season, the likes of when we played Hibs, our mistakes were costly in the league campaign and it was a similar story today. But sometimes you need a setback just so you see the warning signs that people can’t get complacent. Today, getting a few setbacks is important because it will give us the kick up the backside we need.”
Sweden defender Filip Helander, who joined from Bologna for a reported £3.5m this month, made his debut as a second-half substitute.
“He is eight-nine days in tops, so still has two or three weeks to go until he’s fully conditioned,” Gerrard added. “He was fine out there, unfortunately the players around him didn’t help him. We conceded a goal but it was nothing to do with Filip.”