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Gerrard hails influence of 'machine' Coulibaly on Rangers

The Light Blues manager was full of praise for his summer signing Lassana Coulibaly.

Steven Gerrard labelled Lassana Coulibaly a "machine" after the Malian midfielder's energetic showing helped Rangers to a 3-1 victory over Maribor.

Coulibaly added Rangers' third on the night after Alfredo Morelos and James Tavernier had also struck to edge the home side in front.

The Angers loanee's first goal for Rangers capped an impressive display in the middle of the park.

Gerrard insisted there is more to come from the 22-year-old, however.

He said: "He (Lassana) is a machine, he's exactly what this football club needed in terms of that enforcer in the middle of the park.

"He enjoys getting after people, biting into tackles and doing the ugly side of the game.

"He loves it and is only going to get better, there is more to come."

Morelos was sent off early on against Aberdeen in the Premiership opener at Pittodrie at the weekend.

The Colombian started brightly at Ibrox on Thursday, though, and opened the scoring with a tap-in.

Gerrard said: "For the 11 or 12 minutes he was on at the weekend I thought he was brilliant.

"I felt there was a big performance coming from him at the weekend but that was taken away from him.

"I wasn't surprised by his performance tonight because he is looking lean, a handful and his movement is good. He's putting in a hell of a shift, I'm delighted with him."

Gerrard explains Windass move

Rangers' joint top goalscorer from last season, Josh Windass, has left the club to join Wigan.

Gerrard said he gave the attacker his blessing to make the move as the Englishman coveted regular starts as a striker which couldn't be guaranteed at Ibrox.

He said: "Wigan got to a number the board were happy with and the board put the decision in myself and Mark's hands.

"I spoke to Josh this morning, asked him what he wanted to do and he made it clear he wanted to go and speak to Wigan.

"I am not a manager who is going to stand in the way of someone who wants to play regular football in their favoured position for another team.

"Josh wants to be a number nine every single game for Rangers, I couldn't guarantee him that.

"I could guarantee him football matches but maybe in different positions and formations.

"Josh is a good boy but he wanted to go to speak to Wigan and I didn't want to stand in his way."

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