Steven Gerrard picks bones out of Rangers performance against Dundee

Steven Gerrard praised his team for “winning ugly” against Dundee, but wants to see them brush up in certain elements of their game.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard.

A first-half strike from Joe Aribo earned Rangers a 1-0 at Dens Park to keep them top of the cinch Premiership, but they had to rely on goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin to make a penalty save from Jason Cummings on the hour-mark to keep hold of all three points.

The defending champions struggled to kill the game off, but dug in when under pressure from their hosts.

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“We knew what type of game to expect,” said Gerrard.

“We came here knowing there are certain SPFL games where you are going to have to hustle, grind and fight.

“You have got to do the ugly bits and I thought to a man we were really honest and tried to defend as best we can.

“There are still bones we can pick out of it. In and out of possession, there were times we could have killed the game with a bit more quality.

“But we’ve come here and taken three points and I think the players showed hunger for those.

“No one will remember how we got them in time. We have also managed to keep people fresh for Thursday [a Europa League match with Sparta Prague].”

Gerrard was pleased with the way Aribo’s goal was fashioned, with a neat flick from Alfredo Morelos sending the Nigerian midfielder through to score.

The manager admitted that they had worked on such a move on the training ground and took heart from the way they execute his preparations.

“It was a fantastic assist for the goal, it is something we work on in terms of patterns,” continued Gerrard.

“We scored a very similar goal at Ross County so credit to the lads for carrying that out.

“I just felt at the end we could have got that second. If you don’t get that second goal then teams can hurt you with long balls into the box.

“We’ve had to rely on Jon to dig us out at the end so there is a lot to work on.”