Rangers FC won their first qualifying match of Europa League 2-0 against Macedonian side, FK Shkupi. But the game was not particularly a bed of roses for new manager Steven Gerrard.
The Europa League draw was the first competitive game for new manager Steven Gerrard as he had to find out a right balance with all the new signings coming but most importantly win the game.
Win the game he did, but not every one of his players performed to their full potential.
Attacking midfielder Josh Windass came under heavy criticism from the fans and his substitution was greeted with cheers from the home fans.
But now everything was Josh Windass’s fault as he was played in the right wing by Steven Gerrard despite being an out-and-out midfielder and the player did not look too comfortable in that role.
Gerrard though was quick to come out in defence of the 24-year-old and claimed that he would be chopping and changing his players in order to land the best combination.
The new Rangers boss said: “Josh will play in different positions. I’ve told the other players that as well. We don’t say: ‘This is your position and you’re only going to play there’.
“We will play different systems and formations.
“If we feel Josh is the best man for a certain role in the team, he’ll play there.
“I thought he worked his socks off against Shkupi and could easily have got a couple of goals.
“Yes, I felt the reaction when he came off. Josh will deal with that. He’s a strong lad and the only way to win fans over is to score goals.
“We all know what’s going to come. That’s what you sign up to.
“The fans are desperate for goals, desperate to be entertained and to win games.
“So are we, we all feel it on the sides.
“I’ve known Josh for three-and-a-half weeks. I’m still trying to work out the character of not just him, but a lot of them.
“We are getting used to each other, building relationships.
“What I will say is he has applied himself very, very well since day one.”
Rangers play the second leg of the Europa League qualifiers on Tuesday after which they will play Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership next month. So Gerrard only has one competitive game in order to find his best possible eleven.
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