Steven Gerrard watched Alfredo Morelos equal the club’s European scoring record with the only goal of the game against Lech Poznan – and then challenged the striker to help deliver trophies at Ibrox.
Morelos’ header in the 1-0 Europa League win was his 21st in continental competition for Rangers and brought him level with club icon Ally McCoist.
“It’s fantastic for him from a personal point of view,” Gerrard said. “He deserves it, he has scored some real big important goals in Europe for us. So I’m very pleased for Alfredo.
“Ally’s a legend of the club, he has been here and done it, got the T-shirt. The challenge for Alfredo is: can he build on all his goals and help his team to become successful come the end of the season?”
Morelos was on the bench as Rangers kicked off against Lech Poznan, with Kemar Roofe given the nod to start after his stunning strike at Standard Liege last week. Though Morelos had failed to score in his previous six games, Gerrard insisted he had not lost his starting place.
“Listen, Alfredo hasn’t been dropped,” he said. “For me it was trying to take him out to freshen him up and try to get that spark he has maybe been missing in the last couple of appearances.
“He has played a lot of of football, come back from Colombia with a bit of jet lag. So I think it was needed.
“We also needed to get Kemar moving and get a good 60 (minutes) into his legs. So it’s positives all round in the forward positions.
“Hopefully that will be the catalyst for Alfredo to go on and score some more goals for us.”
The win puts Rangers level with Benfica at the top of Group D before the sides meet in back-to-back games.