STEVEN GERRARD was thrilled with the mentality of his Rangers players as they produced another impressive pre-season performance to defeat Motherwell 4-0.
As Gers returned to Ibrox for the first time in over four months, Gerrard watched on as a super first-half display had the Light Blues 3-0 up at the break.
Fine Brandon Barker work in the second half earned a fourth goal via an OG, and for the manager, it was another very satisfactory workout ahead of the new campaign.
He told RangersTV: "That was the challenge really - what was our mentality going to be like after a trip away on the back of two positive results.
"I gave the players a lot of praise on the back of that tournament, so I was looking to see how we were going to come out the blocks and we came out really fast.
"I am really pleased with the first-half showing - we were very strong, we look ready and across the board there were strong individual performances and we scored some fantastic goals.
"Over 90 minutes, we got a clean sheet as well which is always an added bonus.
"I think people are at different stages, and there are a few individuals within it who certainly look ready to go now.
"Joe Aribo and Glen Kamara were outstanding first-half, and I've almost got to pull them back.
"Connor [Goldson], again, puts another 90 minutes in and Tav [James Tavernier] had an excellent first-half, so there are a lot of players who are showing signs they are ready, but we still have 10 days to go in-terms of preparation and there are still some other players we want to get some valuable minutes into, but at the moment, where we are now, I am really content.
"The only disappointing thing is Jermain's injury, which looks like a hamstring - we'll check that out in the coming days and when we know the extent of that, we will decide what we need to do."
The manager was also pleased with how his players dealt with the delay to this evening’s match – the game eventually kicking-off at 8pm.
"I think we are going to face many tests both on and off the pitch,” said the boss, “and we as a group have to be ready and we always have to make sure our standards are good.
"It's not an ideal preparation when you get delays, but it can happen and that can be due to the weather or unexpected circumstances.
"The important thing is to remain focused and start the game well, and we certainly did that which was pleasing."
This was the first opportunity Rangers season ticket holders got to watch the team in action on RangersTV, with matches at the start of the season set to be played behind closed doors. The manager was pleased to put on a show for them, saying:
"Every time you put the shirt on, you know there are going to be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Rangers fans across the world ready to see what you are going to do in-terms of your performance.
"But I think the fans watching in tonight will be really proud and they can see the players are looking fit, sharp and focused, and we still have some preparation time to go.
"The important thing is that we go into the season ready and firing, and we are still putting the building blocks in place for that."
WATCH THE MATCH HIGHLIGHTS HERE
Now it’s onto Coventry on Saturday – the final match before the league season begins against Aberdeen seven days afterwards.
On that, Gerrard added: "It will be a big test. Coventry have had a fantastic season and they have a good manager in Mark Robins.
"We have had some experience of Championship sides coming of late - Wigan, Blackburn, Derby - they have always been good tests and I am sure Coventry won't disappoint - they will be up for it.
"So we will have to be ready - they are not far out in-terms of their season as well, so we are looking forward to that game.
"We only have one injury from tonight, and we managed to get some minutes into players this morning with the likes of Nathan Patterson, Greg Stewart and Calvin Bassey, so, all-in-all, it has been probably 95 per-cent a strong day - Jermain is the only disappointment."