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Gerrard delighted to deliver on King's demand for Rangers

The Rangers boss said his players had shown their quality to knock out Legia Warsaw.

Steven Gerrard was full of praise for his Rangers players after they defeated Legia Warsaw to reach the Europa League group stages, and said the club had done well to deliver on a tight budget.

A last-gasp header from Alfredo Morelos settled a tense and hard-fought tie at Ibrox and ensured Rangers group stage football for the second season in a row.

Gerrard said he knew that chairman Dave King had said that a run in Europe was necessary for the club to progress and he was pleased with how everyone involved had stepped up to the mark.

"I think the importance of the victory is more about the club," Gerrard said. "I think Dave King went on record and said that this club needs European football.

"It's been tough trying to build a squad on the budgets available to get over the line in these situations. I have to pay respects to the recruitment team who worked tirelessly to help me identify the players and get them in here to get the job done.

"It's been tough but we've built a good team. We are a good team.

"We still need to improve and get better, keep learning but i'm so proud of where they are at up to now."

The manager, who praised Jordan Jones and Alfredo Morelos for their parts in the match-winning moment, and singled out Nikola Katic as his "outstanding" man of the match, said that he had felt he had to "free" his players at half time to overcome Legia.

"I felt they were anxious in the first half," he said. "I needed to go for them at half-time. 

"I needed to provoke them to let themselves go.

"We had 45 minutes to win a football match and I took all the responsibility away from them and just said 'Go. Go. Believe in our fitness and that we will be the team that will provide that moment of quality.'

"I felt Legia were a little bit nervous and there for the taking. I think we had a little bit too much of them at times but it was only when we really went for it [we got somewhere].

"That was the message at half time. 'Go for it. Leave it all out there.'

"To a man, that's exactly what they did."

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