Steven Gerrard: Rangers players can put marker down against TNS

Steven Gerrard has challenged his players to take their chance when Rangers step up their pre-season preparations this week.

Gers face Welsh champions The New Saints in a behind-closed-doors friendly in Glasgow on Tuesday before facing Bury later in the week.

It will be a first game in charge of the club for Gerrard and with their Europa League qualifier against Shkupi coming up next week, he has challenged his players to stake their claim for a starting spot.

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• READ MORE - Brendan Rodgers warns Steven Gerrard over Rangers and management test“We haven’t got many games before the first qualifier so we’ll have to approach this properly and players are playing for places,” he told RangersTV.“It’s competitive and it’s an opportunity to put a marker down to me to say, ‘I want one of those shirts, one to 11, I want to play.”Having spent over a week in Spain on a pre-season training camp, Gerrard is excited to get into more competitive games and get minutes into the legs of the players.He said: “It’s a big week, but isn’t every week when you are the manager of a club this size?“We’re just off the back of 10 days in Spain but the first two weeks of pre-season were huge as well.“We move into the third week and now it’s about games, about playing against opposition so it’s a different type of test for the players but we’re certainly looking forward to the game against TNS behind closed doors.“Then obviously moving on into Ibrox, our home, and we’re certainly looking forward to playing in front of our supporters.”• READ MORE - Celtic and Rangers set to battle for Liverpool starlet - reports