It was only a win against part-timers, but the victory versus St Joseph’s in the Europa League yesterday evening was a promising start.
It took time for Steven Gerrard‘s side to find their feet, but the four goals in the second half should make the second leg at Ibrox a foregone conclusion.
A couple of standout performances for Rangers came from those playing on the wings in Gibraltar with debutants Sheyi Ojo and Jordan Jones both impressing.
There has been a lot of talk online, with many fans calling on the club to sign Ryan Kent from Liverpool this summer, and while he would certainly remain a very welcome addition, there were signs from these two that the Gers could cope without the 22-year-old next season.
Ojo, in particular, looked like he had something to prove yesterday. He has got the power and strength to take on opponents, but he is also a decent finisher, curling in with his left foot for the second goal.
It was a good response after missing an earlier chance, and he will want to build on his first performance and show the sort of consistency that will be required over a long campaign. With Gerrard in charge, it seems he will have someone on his case to keep up his levels too.
Asked about Ojo after the match, the Rangers boss noticed a slight dip in his game as the match reached the final minutes, and he said he is keen to stamp that out:
“He knows that he needs to make this work. He is delighted to be here, he has settled in well and the fans are having him. Now he has got to build on that. Towards the end, I could see him coming down slightly.”
“I want him to be ruthless from start to finish and he will get the numbers that he wants and that will satisfy everyone.”
Jones, meanwhile, didn’t stand out quite as much as the man on the opposite flank, but the Northern Irish international was capable on the ball and delivered crosses into the box.
During the game, the 24-year-old attempted ten dribbles and completed nine of them, while he crossed three times into the penalty area, with two of them reaching a teammate.
It is certainly something to build on for Jones going forward, and he will be hoping to score a goal or two and provide a few assists over the next few weeks and months.
Of course, every Rangers supporter would love to see Kent back, but that decision remains in the hands of Liverpool. If the fan favourite doesn’t return, though, both Ojo and Jones have shown good early signs that they can fill the void.