THERE is, with a cinch Premiership match against Motherwell and a Premier Sports Cup quarter-final with Livingston coming up for Rangers at Ibrox in the next four days, no time for Steven Gerrard to agonise over the Europa League defeat to Lyon on Thursday night. 

Gerrard’s full focus is on giving the supporters who will cram into their Govan ground tomorrow afternoon – and another full house is expected - to see the unveiling of the league flag for the first time in a decade a win to celebrate.

That will, with winger Ryan Kent sidelined with a hamstring strain and striker Alfredo Morelos a major doubt due to the same problem, require his undivided attention. “The games are coming thick and fast,” he said. “It’s three in six days. So we have no time to dwell. We have to move on fast.”

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Still, the Liverpool and England great has certainly replayed an encounter with French opponents which the Scottish champions lost 2-0 in his mind in the hours since.

And the Rangers manager is adamant the reverse which his men suffered is no cause for alarm even though, after Brondby and Sparta Prague drew 0-0 in Denmark, they are in bottom spot in Group A as a consequence.

In fact, he feels the overall performance provided further evidence of the progress which the Glasgow giants have made in continental competition during the past three seasons.

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When Rangers last played a team managed by Dutch coach Peter Bosz - in the last 16 of the Europa League two seasons ago - they were comprehensively beaten 4-1 over two legs by Bayer Leverkusen of Germany.

Seeing his charges compete with a Lyon side who are among the favourites to triumph in the tournament for long spells and create their fair share of scoring opportunities on Thursday pleased him. Bosz certainly felt they were much improved.

READ MORE: Costly defensive lapse mars improved John Lundstram display as Rangers fall to classy Lyon at Ibrox

“He’s someone I’ve got the utmost respect for,” said Gerrard. “We’ve played against two of his teams. Leverkusen was some time ago. But I felt on the side there was a real big gulf in class. It felt that way from the side and over both games we were dominated and controlled for the majority of both 90 minutes.

“I felt last night that we took huge strides. At times we looked a good team. We were more than a match for Lyon. Okay, they got both goals, one in each half coming off the back of two of our mistakes if you like. But I didn’t see that gulf and I did feel like we were competitive.

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“I do see Lyon as being on a similar level to a Leverkusen. They are two Champions League teams who have gone to the latter stages of that competition in the last three or four years. So I don’t feel this morning as I did after Leverkusen. For me, that’s progress.

“That’s my fair assessment of the game. But at the end of the day we lost 2-0. We’re at Rangers. We need to react and bounce back at the weekend.”

“It’s about treating each game in isolation. We put a big effort into last night’s game with no reward so I think today is about picking the boys up and getting them recovered because the Motherwell game comes on us pretty quickly.”

READ MORE: Steven Gerrard makes confident Europa League prediction as Rangers suffer 'harsh' Lyon defeat at Ibrox

Rangers are on a three game winning run in the Premiership and leapfrogged Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibernian into first place in the top-flight table with a hard-fought 2-1 triumph over St Johnstone in Perth last weekend.

Still, further off-field disruptions – Filip Helander has been ruled out for several months after suffering a knee injury at McDiarmid Park and Kent and Morelos have also picked up knocks – will complicate their attempts to extend that against Motherwell tomorrow.

For Gerrard, that has been the story of their season to date. He is looking forward to the time when he has a full complement of players to choose from and is optimistic that displays will improve further at home and abroad when that happens.

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“I’ve just been in the doctor’s room to see who could be a doubt and who is out for the weekend,” he said. “I have been seeing who is available and training them today, getting the boys who weren’t involved.

“I haven’t had everyone fit and available to hit top form, that’s a manager’s perfect scenario. These are not excuses, but I don’t feel as though I’ve had a settled squad with everyone in a good place and available so we can pick our best team and try and get some rhythm.

“It seems like with Covid, with injuries, suspensions and people arriving late we are finding it really difficult. But it is what it is and we have to deal with that. Hopefully in due course we can get a real settled squad.

“Against Lyon we made the most of what was available. That’s all I can say on that. It now looks as though we are going to be missing Ryan for a few weeks so that’s another huge frustration.”

The improved showing of John Lundstram, the English midfielder who has failed to impress fans since joining from Sheffield United back in July and who jeopardised Rangers’ chances of reaching the Europa League group stages when he got sent off against Alashkert in the first leg of the play-off last month, against Lyon pleased Gerrard greatly.

“I thought it was John’s strongest game,” he said. “I thought he got stronger when he moved into the middle of the pitch. I thought he grew into the game and probably put in, in my opinion, his strongest performance over a 90 minutes for us.”