Steven Gerrard makes impassioned plea to Rangers fans after assessing performance against Malmo

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard admitted he feared his Champions League dream could have been over when his team fell 2-0 behind Malmo in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie on Tuesday evening.

Steven Gerrard reflects on his team's performance against Malmo.
Steven Gerrard reflects on his team's performance against Malmo.

The Scottish champions were left reeling by goals from Soren Rieks and Veljko Birmancevic inside the opening four minutes of the second half – but a dramatic 95th-minute strike from veteran midfielder Steven Davis left Gerrard with renewed hope ahead of the second leg at Ibrox next Tuesday night.

“We were okay at half-time, we were in a good shape and looking the more likely,” said Gerrard. “But we lost our way for four or five minutes and lost two goals. The first one may have been offside but we still have to defend it better.

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“We never cleared our heads and then at 2-0, you are concerned it could go worse and the tie could be over. But you are also thinking and believing you have the quality to go and get that one goal.

“We are disappointed with the result and the two goals we conceded. But there has been a big moment at the very end of the game which has gone in our favour.

“It’s a big moment in my opinion and it sets it up for next week. It’s not the position we wanted to be in but it’s obviously a lot better than going into it 2-0 down. We were also on the verge of going into it even worse as well.

“So the injury-time goal is big for us but our performance hasn’t been enough. So we are going to have to go up levels individually and collectively for next week. I’ve said in the dressing room after the game that there are six or seven who need to raise their level and raise it sharply.”

Gerrard is hopeful home advantage, with the size of attendance at Ibrox next week still to be determined, can help Rangers advance to the play-off round.

“I’m going to call on the Ibrox crowd,” he told Rangers TV. “I’ve never done it before – but we are going to need them for the full 90 minutes in full voice.”

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