FILIP Helander last night told Rangers manager Steven Gerrard he is ready to face Legia Warsaw and Celtic after impressing on his debut for the Ibrox club in their 3-0 win over East Fife in a Betfred Cup last 16 match at New Bayview.

The Swedish centre half, a £3.5 million signing from Italian club Bologna in the summer, set up Jermain Defoe for the opening goal in the first-half and forced Ross Dunlop to turn the ball into his own net in the second.

The 26-year-old missed pre-season and has been unable to oust George Edmundson, Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic since becoming available for selection.

However, he is keen to remain involved and stressed he can cope with the Europa League play-off games against Legia and the opening Glasgow derby match of the 2019/20 campaign on Sunday week.

“I’ve been training hard,” he said. “Obviously we’ve been on a roll of good results so I’ve had to wait for my opportunity to come in to the team. They’ve been playing well, so it’s always hard for a manager to change it.

“I was delighted to get my chance. I hope to play every game, especially the big matches we have come up in Europe and at home. The opponents today were maybe not at the same level as the ones to come but I feel I am ready to play.

“I’ve played against big teams before. It’s always the manager’s decision. But am I ready? Absolutely. You want to play in the European games. I played a lot in Europe before. You always want to play these games and hopefully we can get a good result against Warsaw.”

Helander, who played alongside Edmundson in the heart of the Rangers defence, admitted he had enjoyed his first taste of Scottish football.

“I managed to get an assist and I don’t know if I got a goal in the end,” he said. “It was nice to get 90 minutes in hard conditions with the wind and astroturf. But we got the job done and that was the important thing.

“It was quite difficult out there with the wind, especially trying to deal with the long balls. It’s always important to do the simple things first because we know we have good players up front who can score goals. These games are not about showing the fans the fancy passes.”