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Steven Gerrard hailedAlfredo Morelosas one of the players of the tournament after the Colombian Fired Rangers into the knockout stages of the Europa League on a nerve shredding night at Ibrox.
Morelos’ sixth goal of the group stages – and his th European goal in total this term – looked to have clinched top spot in Group G before a late Borna Barisic own goal gave Young Boys of Berne the point that meantRangersfinished second.
But bossGerrardcouldn’t hide his joy at qualifying from a “Champions League” strength group and insisted he had no doubt Morelos, who endured a nightmare in Sunday’s League Cup Final, would bounce back.
He said: “It’s a fantastic feeling, especially after the last few days.
“It’s been tough to pick ourselves up, the players and the staff, for this game. The boys deserve credit for getting it done.
“I’m not surprised by Alfredo. People asked me about him yesterday, how he would be affected.
“Alfredo is Alfredo. He’s a born goal scorer. He’s a human being, so some days he won’t be able to be the hero.
“But he’s got to be up there as player of the tournament so far.
“He’s scored big goals against top opposition.
” I had no doubt he was going to bounce back. That’s what I see in him.
Image: Getty Images
“If he gets praise, he’s right back on to perform. If he gets criticism, he tends to put it behind him and do his best for the team. ”
Gerrard knows finishing second in the group means Rangers will face a seeded side, with the likes of
Manchester United, Arsenal and Inter Milan lying in wait in Monday’s draw.
But the Ibrox gaffer is adamant nothing fazes his side.
He added: “No -one should understate what they’ve done. No-one gave us a chance.
“I sat in the canteen with the players and squad when the draw was made.
“Porto came out. A Champions League team. They’ll beat Rangers.
“Feyenoord came out, people said what a group this is. No chance for Rangers.
“Young Boys, maybe. But I knew how good they were.
“That was a tough group. For the players to get out in any shape or form is a magnificent achievement.
“We’ll get who we’re given. We’ll be the team other players might fancy playing – but I’m sure Porto, Young Boys and Feyenoord felt like that.
“We’ll give it our best shot and surprise a few more people.
“We’ve just qualified in front of some decent teams. So we’re ready for whoever we’re drawn against.
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