Gerrard Satisfied With Light Blues Professionalism

STEVEN GERRARD was a very satisfied manager at full-time tonight with the professionalism his Rangers showed in defeating Falkirk in the League Cup.

Goals from Jermain Defoe, Calvin Bassey, Borna Barisic and James Tavernier secured a 4-0 success for the Light Blues to set-up a quarter-final with St Mirren.

Gerrard told RangersTV: "There were a couple of things we stressed before the game - our application, mentality and the attitude towards the game.

"You have got to respect your opponent and the environment before a ball is kicked, and the players did that really well. We competed well and we showed our quality at the right times and it is another strong win with a clean sheet, so we are pleased.

"We managed to get 90 minutes into certain individuals and we have managed to offload certain individuals with an idea for midweek, so I am really pleased."

The quality of all four goals thrilled the manager, and he continued: "[The first] that's JD isn't it? His first touch of the game, left foot and it was a fantastic run to get on the shoulder and it was a great ball by Connor.

"To then finish it the way he has into the side-netting, it was a world-class finish again and it is typical JD.

"The second goal, a set-piece and Calvin was following up on the end of a great header by Cedric, and it was a great finish into the roof of the net for his first goal, so I was pleased for him.

"The free-kick is a moment of class from Borna - that's what he is about and then James finishes it off with a fantastic volley.

"The four goals were all really good in different ways but pleasing to see."

Cedric Itten also put in a strong performance in support of Defoe, and Gerrard added: "I thought he did everything but score, but there are many things which contribute to a good performance.

"It would have been nice if he got on the scoresheet but we judge people on their workrate and what they do in the system and in the gameplan.

"I think he has contributed to a good, strong win for us so we are pleased."

The scoreline also meant Gerrard was able to hand debuts to 18 year-old Ciaran Dickson and 16 year-old Leon King from the club’s Academy.

On them, the manager added: "They deserved it. It was about who deserved an opportunity tonight and they have been training ever-so well, haven't looked out of place and are training like first-team players.

"I wanted to reward them and give them a taste of the action - the message for them now, is this is the beginning.

"They have got to be obsessed now with working as hard as they can to try and get another opportunity.

"King is slightly different - he is younger and it is probably a little too early for him but because we lost Fil [Helander] before the game and because he has been training so well, I just wanted to give him a taste of it and I will be looking at him closely now to see his reaction from the taste.

"I'll be making sure his feet stay firmly on the ground so he keeps pushing as hard as he can."