STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

Gerrard: Rangers underperformed in draw with Brondby

The Rangers boss said his front three didn't click in the first half in Copenhagen.

Gerrard: Rangers underperformed in draw with Brondby SNS Group

Steven Gerrard was unimpressed with his side’s first half performance as they drew 1-1 with Brondby in Denmark.

Rangers were a goal down at half time in the Europa League match but, after the manager made a triple attacking substitution, a Ianis Hagi goal earned them a crucial point.

The draw keeps the Scottish champions in third place in Group A, 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.

Gerrard saw that as an obvious positive but was disappointed his side hadn’t taken a clearer step forward with a win in Denmark.

“I think there was more than a point there for us,” the Rangers manager said at his post-match press conference.

“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 tonight, 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 for the visitors came just before the hour mark when Alfredo Morelos, Fashion Sakala and Scott Arfield were replaced by Kemar Roofe, Ianis Hagi and Ryan Kent, with the latter making his return from injury.

Gerrard said: “Maybe I got the front three wrong today, or the front three didn’t bring to the game what I wanted and expected of them. There’s 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.

“It’s great to have Ryan back. I think he’ll give everyone a boost, not just inside the dressing room but the supporters. We know when he’s at it and in that form he’s so hard to stop.

“And obviously I might look at a different front three come the weekend.”

Reflecting on the standings in Group A, Gerrard said everything was set up for his side to get a decisive result in the next match.

“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,” he said.

“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.

“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.”