STEVEN Gerrard last night expressed confidence he will have both Lassana Coulibaly and Ovie Ejaria available for Rangers’ opening Europa League group game against Villarreal in Spain on Thursday evening.

Ryan Jack looks set to miss the Group G match in the Estadio de la Ceramica due to a calf injury and Gerrard is hoping the Scot's fellow central midfielders Coulibaly and Ejaria will be fit.

Coulibaly, who had been sidelined with a thigh injury, made his first appearance in over a month yesterday and netted in a 4-0 win over Dundee at Ibrox that his manager was far from satisfied with.

The 22-year-old Malian was replaced after 56 minutes and will be assessed by Rangers medical staff this week to see if he can be risked in the match against their La Liga rivals.

“We've missed him, his power, his energy, his tenacity, the way he bites at people,” said Gerrard. “I was thinking about taking him off at half-time, but I just wanted to give him another 10 then get him off and save his legs. Hopefully we can use him again on Thursday if the fitness coach allows.”

Ejaria, the on-loan Liverpool player who has been a regular starter for Rangers in the 2018/19 campaign, missed the game yesterday after suffering a minor injury in training.

"It's a small niggle he got yesterday in training, he felt a bit of hip flexing,” said Gerrard. “It's days, he should be available for Thursday, worst case for the weekend.”

Meanwhile, Gerrard is hopeful Rangers can give a decent account of themselves against Villarreal away despite being critical of how they performed in their emphatic victory over Dundee.

"That's what we'll be trying to do, for sure,” he said. “I'm quietly confident we can go there and get a result. We're playing against a good team with very technically gifted players, we respect Villarreal.

“But we're the underdogs and we go in to try and give a good show of ourselves. I'll try to pick a team that's organised and difficult to beat, but carries a threat going the other way as well.”

Gerrard continued: “I'm not sure we got a (performance) against Dundee to be honest. We got a win, an important win, we got four goals and a clean sheet. But it wasn't a great performance. It was OK, it was good enough, but we will play better than that.

“But if you take into consideration the international break, people coming back late and only really getting the full squad together yesterday then we would have taken the result, of course we would.

“But we will have to play better. We have to play with more control. I didn't like it going from end to end. I thought Dundee as we didn't have no control in the first 45. Second half, we were a lot better than the first.

“I want as many goals as we can get. I want to create a team that is ruthless and relentless and we weren't today. We deserve more goals. I thought the first offside goal is on having looked at it. Kyle's was offside by a bit.

“But I don't just want to get a 3-0 lead and take the foot off the gas. If we want to be a successful team, we have to be at it all the time. The performance was patchy today. There was really strong individual performances within but as a team we can play better.”