A first Premiership away win for Steven Gerrard and Rangers – but the 4-1 defeat of Hamilton Accies on Sunday afternoon was not one that the Ibrox Boss was best pleased with.
Gerrard was delighted to pick up the three points, but he was not happy with the performance.
He said: “I was obviously very pleased with both the result and the three points. All the talk before the game was about our away form – we hadn’t won all season in the League – but I wasn’t too pleased with the performance in all honesty.
“I think we were frightened when they equalised. Their goal gave us the rocket that we needed. At 1-0 we were too casual and I didn’t feel comfortable. I always felt they would get one opportunity that might have been costly. The equaliser jolted us back to life.
“I think 4-1 flatters us – but we were comfortable in the end.
“This game was on the back of an International break on a plastic pitch and perhaps it’s not the juiciest fixture to motivate a player. There’s loads of factors…
“We played better at Aberdeen and Motherwell but still dropped points. As a manager sometimes you’ve got to accept that it won’t always look great. We were sensational against Hearts and Rapid but it’s never going to be like that all the time. The sign of a good team is to win a game when you’re not performing to your maximum.
“It was important to build on the Hearts result. It’s important we come to places like Hamilton and take maximum points.”
There was praise for Light Blue Captain James Tavernier, whose two late penalties clinched all three points for the visitors, making it seven out of seven from the spot for the season.
“James has fantastic technique,” said Gerrard. “He has the personality to step up in pressure situations. Certainly, the first penalty at 1-1 with the game running out of time is a big penalty for us – but he’s been a big player for us.”
The Rangers manager was delighted to welcome the return of Jordan Rossiter, making his first start of the season.
“Jordan’s looked really strong in training sessions,” he said. “He earned his appearance today. I thought he was very strong for his first appearance in a long time. Tactically he’s very astute. I can trust him to do a job when required.”
For Rossiter himself it has been a long, hard struggle – and he could not hide his relief at being involved again from the start.
“It was an unbelievable feeling to be back playing, it’s been a very tough time for me this year but the gaffer has put his faith in me and I just want to start paying him back,” he said. “To be honest I have a long way to go in terms of getting back to fitness. There is a lot of competition for places which is great and I’m just happy to be back involved and three points is always a bonus.
“It’s a massive three points but we know it can be a lot, lot better. We knew it was flat but we were aware we hadn’t won away from home so the most important thing was the three points and we were maybe a bit lucky, we rode our luck at times.”