Steven Gerrard: Rangers players 'heroic' in win over NK Osijek

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos and manager Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard described Alfredo Morelos's display against NK Osijek as "selfless"

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard praised the "heroic individual performances" that delivered a valuable 1-0 Europa League away win against NK Osijek.

Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos scored with a first-half header to secure a victory in the second qualifying round first leg in Croatia.

But Gerrard singled out debutants Ryan Kent and Lassana Coulibaly for praise.

"Lassana was majestic, he covered every blade of grass, he won tackles, he broke play up," Gerrard told RangersTVexternal-link.

"That's his first 90 minutes, can you imagine what he's going to be like after five, six games?"

Winger Kent, on loan from Liverpool, was bright in attack and played a role in the build-up to Morelos' goal.

Gerrard believes the 21-year-old can raise his game once he has settled in the side, but also praised Morelos' all-round display.

"Ryan played only two 45 minutes in friendly games. He's still got another level to go to but he looked dangerous and the supporters can see what kind of player he's going to be," Gerrard said.

"[Morelos'] application and work rate in training on and off the pitch has been tremendous. He got his reward for that.

"His performance was selfless and the defenders and goalkeeper are thanking him for the shift he put in for us. He should be proud of himself."

If Rangers overcome Osijek in the second leg at Ibrox on Thursday, they will face either Slovenian side Maribor or Chikhura Sachkhere of Georgia, with the first leg between the two sides having ended 0-0.

"I thought the performance was strong, defensively we were very good," Gerrard said.

"I'm happy and satisfied, but at the same time we have a lot of respect for the opposition and there's still work to do. We need another big performance [at Ibrox]."


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