Heroes and warriors: Steven Gerrard wants Rangers to stand up

Rangers' Connor Goldson celebrates scoring
Rangers' Connor Goldson celebrates scoring

Steven Gerrard admits he will need “heroes and warriors” if Rangers are to battle past Ufa and claim their place in the Europa League group stage.

The Light Blues claimed a slender 1-0 advantage over the Russians at Ibrox thanks to Connor Goldson’s first-half winner.

But boss Gerrard is frustrated his side will not be taking a bigger lead with them when they head to the Republic of Bashkortostan next Thursday.

The second leg promises to be Gers’ biggest clash in the six years since the club was plunged into a financial blackhole - with more than £2.5million riding on their qualification to the next phase.

Now their manager has urged his men to prove they are up for the fight.

He said: “Is our lead enough? I’d like a bigger advantage, of course I would. Listen, we’ve got another tough game next week. The clean sheet might be important, that’s certainly a positive. We won’t be getting carried away.

“We understand and respect the opposition and we need a performance full of heroes and warriors next week. But we are capable of going there, being hard to play against and defending well like we’ve shown before. We are also capable of getting an important away goal.

“It would be a shame (if we missed out on the group stages) - we’ve got to go there and make sure it’s not a shame.

“We have to put in a performance where we do all it takes to get over the line. I’m not for going there and coming away with regrets and it being a shame.”

Goldson fired home four minutes before half-time after Ufa keeper Aleksandr Belenov failed to keep hold of Alfredo Morelos’ header.

Substitute Kyle Lafferty was back in blue a day after completing his Rangers return from Hearts but he could not cap off a dream second debut with a goal.

The narrow victory means Gers have now racked up 10 games without defeat.

under Gerrard but the boss confessed they were not at their best.

He said: “I was slightly disappointed with the first-half showing, even though we won it 1-0. The second half was closer to what I want. We played with more intensity and purpose on the front foot.

“We kept them in their half for the majority of the second half. We just didn’t get the rewards for how we played in the second half.

“Of course I would have liked a little bit more of an advantage and a better show in the first half but I have no criticism of them.”