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Gerrard: We need more quality to improve in Europe

The Rangers boss couldn't fault his players' efforts in their defeat to Rapid Wien.

Steven Gerrard has said that he was pleased with his players' efforts as they dropped out of the Europa League but that he needed more quality in the squad to make progress.

Rangers bowed out at the group stage with a 1-0 defeat after a late goal from Rapid's Dejan Ljubicic in a game of few clear chances.

Gerrard had made seven changes from the side that drew with Dundee last weekend and said he couldn't fault the players drafted in but was disappointed with the result.

"I thought we were good for 80 minutes," he said. "I can't really ask the players to give any more.

"With what we had available tonight, everyone gave an almighty effort.

"Obviously as the game was getting to the final stages we were trying to roll the dice and go a little bit more adventurous to try and create something. To try and create that moment that we needed at 0-0.

"Unfortunately we've conceded a counter-attack but I think it's very hard for me to criticise the players for what they gave tonight.

'To compete at this level with ambitions to go further than the group it's obvious to me that the players need some help. That means quality players that can come in and help.'
Steven Gerrard

Reflecting on the group stage as a whole, he rued discipline and injuries at crucial times and cited the loss of creative players Daniel Candeias and Ryan Kent. He said that though he had always been able to replace players, a better quality of player was needed to lift the side when key performers weren't available.

"We've certainly been tested," Gerrard said. "I think as a group we haven't helped ourselves in certain situations with suspensions and availability.

"Obviously injuries at certain times like Ryan Kent at the weekend. To not have Daniel Candeias and Kent available affects the group. We haven't helped ourselves throughout the campaign.

"I think in terms of numbers we've had enough to cope but to compete at this level with ambitions to go further than the group it's obvious to me that the players need some help. That means quality players that can come in and help.

"We focus domestically now to put ourselves in position to come back again."

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