Steven Gerrard: Rangers just can't start pointing fingers now

His glass may have felt half empty in Lisbon on Thursday night, but Rangers manager Steven Gerrard can start to look on the bright side as he reflects more soberly on the dramatic 3-3 draw against Benfica.

A pensive Steven Gerrard looks on during Rangers' dramatic 3-3 Europa League draw against Benfica in Lisbon on Thursday. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)
A pensive Steven Gerrard looks on during Rangers' dramatic 3-3 Europa League draw against Benfica in Lisbon on Thursday. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

While Gerrard’s frustration at conceding two late goals against their 10-man opponents at the Stadium of Light cannot be easily soothed, he knows Rangers still remain in a hugely promising position in Group D of the Europa League.

They are setting the pace alongside top seeds Benfica on seven points at the halfway stage, leaving them well placed to qualify for the knockout stage of the tournament for a second successive season.

Rangers: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

Rangers: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

“For sure, we can’t all of a sudden start pointing fingers and think all is lost,” said Gerrard.

“We are still unbeaten, we are still on this run, but I get that we should still be talking about a huge win and a massive European performance.

“Unfortunately we are talking about a draw but when the dust settles I’m sure people will realise it’s a positive point.

“When people really analyse where we are, they will realise how much we’ve done and how far we have progressed.

“We’re certainly in a far better place. But you can’t blame people for feeling a bit down and a bit stung at the moment.

“I feel the same, the players feel the same. But I will pick myself up and so will the players.

“We have to keep moving forward.

“It’s another point closer to where we want to be. The challenge for us when the group stage draw was made was could we get ourselves into the last 32 for a second time?

“We have made a very strong start, but we need to learn from our mistakes.

“When we get ourselves into that sort of position, and I mean going 3-1 in front against 10 men, we have to show the opposition more respect, especially at this level.

“A game is not done and it’s never won until the final whistle.

“We all need to take responsibility from the fact we didn’t return from Portugal with all three points.”

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