“Ryan is a player that we need that level of contribution from, ”Gerrard said. “There have been a lot of opinions on Ryan of late on what type of form he is in. But he delivered a big moment for us and he could have had two. “He was disappointed with the big chance he had in the first half. But I am really happy with him and I don’t just judge him on numbers. I judge him on what he is doing for the team – in and out of possession. People don’t give him the credit he deserves in terms of the amount of running he does for us – but he came big for the team and scored the important goal.
“Hopefully this will do his Confidence is the world of good because there will be times when people aren’t happy with him and it’s a little bit up and down. That is part of being a footballer at a top club. But some of the opinions I have been reading of late on Ryan are ludicrous. He’s a top player. ” Gerrard dropped a surprise an hour before kick-off when it was announced George Edmundson would partner Connor Goldson at the heart of his defense, with the out-of-form Nikola Katic dropped to the bench after (the St Johnstone horror show) (on Sunday.) It was a major call, With the young Englishman untested against top-level opposition but he stood up to the task as he and Goldson stood firm. Gerrard said: “The partnership of the two center-backswas faultless. George was thrown in at the deep end but there’s one way to get European experience.
“At some point a manager” has got to trust you to go in, whatever the challenge is. He stepped up and he fancied it and he delivered with the help of Connor, who played like a captain, like a leader. He is someone who has had some stick since the weekend, along with the rest of us, so to bounce back and post that type of performance was great. “We played against high- class opposition, a very dangerous opponent, who are in probably the best form they’ve been in for some time. The players have been outstanding to a man over both games. I’m really proud of them for getting the job done. ” (Rangers) have missed six of their spot-kicks this season but Gerrard never doubted his team could pull through against Ruben Amorim’s side. “Moments like those can play on your mind but the game panned out like we thought it would. We could have scored two more and the tie could have been done at half ‑ time had we been more clinical. I still had confidence then that moments would come.
“I won’t be disrespectful to Braga. They have beaten Porto in a cup final, beaten Sporting Lisbon, Benfica and Wolves. High-class opposition. A team that hadn’t been beaten under their new manager – and we have beaten them twice in a week. ” Read More