After defeating Carlo Ancelotti’s team with goals from Fashion Sakala and Cedric Itten, Gerrard now finds himself preparing for David Martindale’s side where points rather than plaudits and preparation are at stake in six days’ time.
The manager has been buoyed by the strength and depth of his squad, utilised in a full rotation of personel over the two friendlies against Brighton and the Los Blancos, but admits he now has a lot of options ahead of the cinch Premiership kick off on Saturday lunchtime.
“I challenged the team to build on on yesterday's performance and they have backed it up and it shows the strength and depth and quality that we have got around the dressing room so I am really happy and content but at the same time it is important that we stay calm.
“We deserved the victory and have been excellent across the full weekend. Every single person over the course of each 90 minutes has been excellent and they have given me a lot to think about In terms of picking teams for real next week and that's what I wanted. We have to down days now to recover and get ready and from Wednesday it is important that everyone’s focus is for Livingston.”
There was lots to like about Rangers’ performance against the La Liga giants who included Marcelo, Isco and Luka Jovic in their squad with several Euro 2020 participants still returning from their international commitments and Gerrard listed many aspects he was pleased with ahead of their league title defence.
He told RangersTV: “We have shown a level out of possession that I really like, our speed across the grass and aggression and movement together as a unit in our shape I am really happy with. [Against Brighton] we did a lot of things right but missed a little bit of magic in the final third but we found that magic with two great finishes from the boys. They will get a lot of plaudits but for me I am more pleased about the performances from everyone over the weekend.”