Steven Gerrard says Rangers are ready for Europa League opener against FK Shkupi
Manager confirms Bruno Alves to leave the club and he is still looking to bolster squad
By James Simpson
Last Updated: 11/07/18 4:16pm
Steven Gerrard says Rangers are ready for their first Europa League game despite admitting his squad is not complete.
Rangers face Macedonian side FK Shkupi in the first round of the competition and will look for a better start after suffering one of the worst results in club history last year when they were knocked out in the qualifiers by Progres Niederkorn of Luxembourg.
"Very ready," Gerrard said. "I think it's always a test. We only have to go back 12 months to realise that any opposition has to be respected and we have to take the test very seriously.
Goldson: Progres loss in the past
Connor Goldson says Rangers have to forget about last season's disappointment in Europe as they prepare to get their campaign underway.
"But it's about us and about us getting our house in order. It's about us being organised and ready to compete with whoever we come up against.
"We're moving forward very quickly and taking giant strides close to where I want the team and the side to be so I believe we are ready for tomorrow's test."
The club confirmed the loan signings of striker Umar Sadiq from Roma and Lassana Coulibaly from Angers on Tuesday - their eighth and ninth additions of the summer - and Gerrard insisted his players will be able to adapt quickly, and that his transfer business is not over yet.
"There's no number on it," he said. "We'll be there when we're there.
"When I see that the team and the squad is strong enough to compete against the best sides domestically and also against teams we are going to come up against in the Europa, that's when we will be ready.
"Good players are on the same wavelength and good players gel pretty quick and that's what we've tried to into the transfer market for - for good players, for talents.
"We're trying to get the right balance and the right blend.
Rangers hit six in Gerrard opener
Steven Gerrard enjoyed a winning start to his job as Rangers manager, beating Bury 6-0 in a friendly at Ibrox.
"We feel like we've already improved things a lot but there's still some pieces missing. We'll try and get them in."
Rangers made a £3m bid for Millwall defender Jake Cooper on Wednesday according to Sky sources, but Gerrard refused to comment on the 23-year-old.
He did, however, confirm defender Bruno Alves' contract has been terminated by the club by mutual consent. Alves has undergone a medical at Parma and is expected to sign shortly.
Gerrard also confirmed Lee Wallace was omitted from the team's European squad because of injury, and midfielders Graham Dorrans and Jordan Rossiter will play no part in either leg of the tie.