Ger­rard rues poor first-half show by Gers

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - THE SCORE -

frus­trated Steven Ger­rard ad­mit­ted his Rangers side did not play well enough to beat Hearts af­ter they were held to a 1-1 draw at Tynecas­tle.

The Light Blues were off the pace in a fran­tic open­ing 15 min­utes which threat­ened to take the game away from them, as Hearts hit the bar be­fore Ry­otaro Meshino drew first blood in the sixth minute.

Rangers grew into the game as the first half wore on and found an equaliser in the 39th minute as Al­fredo More­los tucked the ball home at the far post.

The vis­i­tors had chances in an open sec­ond half but could pro­duce the three points that would have taken them back to the top of the league table at Celtic’s ex­pense.

Ger­rard said: “I cer­tainly see it as two points dropped right now.

“I thought we were poor in the open­ing ex­changes and lucky not to be 2-0 down.

“They’ve had a fan­tas­tic header that’s hit the bar but we need to be do­ing bet­ter to stop the cross.

“And then we go a goal be­hind and I think Hearts de­serve that. It’s an in­di­vid­ual er­ror again that has cost us.

“Over­all, even go­ing for­ward, to­day we just weren’t at it.”

There were some pos­i­tives as Gers winger Ryan Kent came off the bench for his first ap­pear­ance since limp­ing off against Liv­ingston with a ham­string in­jury last month.

But Ger­rard wanted more from his “game-chang­ers”, say­ing: “I can’t re­mem­ber their keeper hav­ing to make a save, I can’t re­mem­ber us look­ing very dan­ger­ous.

“I’m ex­pect­ing more from my gamechange­rs because over the course of the 90 min­utes we never did enough to win.”

A pleased Hearts boss Craig Levein said: “I was a lit­tle bit ir­ri­tated about the way we lost the goal at a set-piece but the com­mit­ment, the ef­fort, the com­pet­i­tive edge was there and was very ap­par­ent.

“The test for us now is to find that ev­ery sin­gle week.”

The hosts had to bring off Aidy White (head) and Jake Mul­raney (an­kle) in the sec­ond half and Levein said White would go through the con­cus­sion pro­ce­dure to rule out that pos­si­bil­ity, while Mul­raney will have an X-ray to de­ter­mine the ex­tent of his in­jury.

Strik­ing: Hearts mid­fielder Ry­otaro Meshino, left, cel­e­brates his open­ing goal with Uche Ik­peazu

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