Gerrard praises Balogun against Brighton, excited about Real Madrid test

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Leon Balogun faced his former side Brighton and Hove Albion in pre-season as Rangers were held to a stalemate at the Ibrox Stadium on Saturday.

Balogun was named as a starter by Steven Gerrard, who was full of praise for the team’s performance in contrast to the show against Arsenal a week prior.

 

The Nigerian CB scored the opener against the Gunners, but couldn’t replicate that form against the Seagulls.

 

He moved from Brighton at the end of his contract and a spell at Wigan to join Rangers, where he won the Scottish Premiership title last season.

 

The 33 year-old was on for 69 minutes and Gerrard lauded the team’s ability to control the game and show “improvements”.

 

“Listen I’m really happy with the performance, I thought for the majority of the game we played really well,” the Rangers boss said in his post game remark.

 

“The lads gave a big effort today and I think you can see the improvements from a week ago when we were against Arsenal.

 

“I thought Arsenal at times showed their class against us, but today I thought we were dominant for large parts of that.”

 

“Obviously we picked the team and put it together for the first time today, but a lot of the players out there have done themselves no harm at all.”

Gerrard also commented on new signing, Fashion Sakala, the Zambian making his debut appearance for the club since his move from Oostende.

 

“Fashion (Sakala), obviously, he’s still only a week in; that’s a week in after being in one hotel room for 10 days which is tough, so with time and more games and as he gets used to us and the style he’ll get better and better.

 

“You can see in the box he’s looking to get shots off and he’s quick. So yeah he’s a positive as well.”

 

Next up for The Gers is a pre-season friendly against Real Madrid and the Manager hopes the team will come out better; meeting their collective objective for the kick-off of the season.

 

“Another big test tomorrow and we’ll be ready next week…We thank Real Madrid for coming and picking us to play against. It’s a fantastic day but it’s important that we take something from the game.

 

“We are a week away from the first game of the season so, I think you could see by the end of the game close to what our goal is tomorrow.

 

“And it’s important that come the final whistle it’s another positive showing and we get out of it what we need, which is to look like a Rangers team individually and collectively, that’s very important.”

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