Rangers boss Gerrard wary despite 'stunning' second-half display


Steven Gerrard was impressed with Rangers’ second half

Manager Steven Gerrard says Rangers will not get carried away after a “stunning” second half display earned a 3-1 Europa League win over Maribor.

Goals from Alfredo Morelos, James Tavernier and Lassana Coulibaly have the Ibrox club in a commanding position ahead of Thursday’s second leg.

But Gerrard says the third qualifying round tie is still in the balance.

“I’ve learned in Europe that it’s never over at this stage,” the former Liverpool captain told RangersTV.

“They are a good team with Champions League experience and they will be fired up next week. They are at home and they’ll have confidence they can turn the result around.

“Of course 3-1 looks better than 2-1 but this is only half-time. We’re not getting carried away.”

The turning point of the match came five minutes into the second half when Tavernier put Rangers into a 2-1 lead.

West Bromwich Albion had a bid for the right-back rejected on Wednesday, and Gerrard said he did not “appreciate that attention 24 hours before a big game”.

“I’d like a phone call off of big Darren [Moore, West Brom boss] at some point,” the Rangers manager said. “But James handled it very well and that was probably his strongest performance so far.

“It’s up to James whether he tells you what has been said between us over the past few days but he has my full support. I want James Tavernier here as long as I’m here.”

‘Rangers got the breaks’ – analysis

Former Rangers and Scotland striker Steven Thompson on Sportsound

Maribor had a 30-minute spell in the first half when they were in control and maybe should have scored another. There’s no doubt there was a reaction from Rangers in the second half.

Their tempo increased, they created more opportunities, they were playing higher up the pitch and they got their goal. The first one had a sniff of offside and it was a definite handball for the last one, but these are the breaks that you get and Rangers have had them.

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