Steven Gerrard's Rangers were 'mature & measured' in Maribor

Allan McGregor
Allan McGregor has conceded three goals in eight games this term

Rangers' performance in their Europa League elimination of Maribor was "mature and measured", says former Ibrox striker Steven Thompson.

Steven Gerrard's side drew 0-0 in Slovenia on Thursday to progress 3-1 on aggregate and set up a play-off round tie with Russia's FC Ufa.

It was the third consecutive European away game in which the Ibrox side have kept a clean sheet.

"Their game management was excellent," said BBC Scotland pundit Thompson.

"I thought it was a really strong performance and they thoroughly deserve to go through.

"You just can't help but be impressed by the impact Gerrard has had. His recruitment has been strong; they are not losing silly goals like last season; every player seems to understand their role in the team."

'Incredible McGregor is a match-winner'

One of Gerrard's key signings has been goalkeeper Allan McGregor, who left Ibrox in 2012 for Besiktas but returned in the summer.

The Scotland international made crucial saves in Slovenia from Marcos Tavares and Amir Dervisevic, before keeping out Tavares' stoppage-time penalty.

Speaking after the game, Gerrard said McGregor had been "excellent in everything he's done" since signing from Hull, adding he wished the 36-year-old "was 10 years younger".

"He's been an incredible signing," said former team-mate Thompson. "He's a presence on and off the pitch, he's an organiser and he's as hungry as ever.

"He is a match-winner and gives the team a platform to stay in games and be successful."

Ufa are sixth in the Russian top flight, and squeezed past Luxembourg side Progres Niederdorn - who knocked out Rangers last year - 4-3 on aggregate.

The first leg of the tie will be at Ibrox next Thursday, with the return in southern Russia a week later.

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