Gerrard altering Candeias' position is his first fascinating tactical decision at Rangers

Steven Gerrard is unveiled as the new manager of Rangers football Club at Ibrox Stadium on May 4, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Rangers beat FK Shkupi 2-0 at Ibrox on Thursday night.

Steven Gerrard manager of Rangers looks on during the UEFA Europa League Qualifying Round match between Rangers and Shkupi at Ibrox Stadium on July 12, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Rangers beat FK Shkupi 2-0 on Thursday evening to take an advantage in the first leg of their Europa League qualifying tie, marking Steven Gerrard's first competitive game with a victory.

The Gers have enjoyed a busy summer, completing nine signings since Steven Gerrard's appointment as manager, and he took charge of his first competitive game on Thursday.

Macedonian side FK Shkupi arrived at Ibrox hoping to repeat Progres Niederkorn's shock win over Rangers last summer, but fell behind in the first half as Jamie Murphy's shot found its way into the net.

Rangers were hugely disappointing in the second half, but did grab a late second with James Tavernier scoring from the penalty spot after Murphy had been bundled over.

Ultimately, Rangers failed to live up to expectations at a packed Ibrox. Gerrard will be demanding better, and he made one intriguing tactical decision by playing Daniel Candeias as a central midfielder.

Gerrard utilised Ross McCrorie as a holding midfielder, with Scott Arfield and Candeias ahead of him, whilst Josh Windass and Jamie Murphy flanked Alfredo Morelos in attack, with Gerrard testing a new tactic.

Daniel Candeias of Rangers in action during the Pre-Season Friendly between Rangers and Bury at Ibrox Stadium on July 6, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Candeias continued to float out to the right hand side, creating overloads down that flank with Tavernier and Windass, with the trio combining well in the opening stages, but the final ball wasn't quite up to scratch.

Candeias floated in and out of the game before being substituted on a yellow card early into the second half, and whilst the overloads could be something to explore moving forward, Gerrard's fascinating decision maybe didn't pay off in the way he wanted.

With Gerrard now having a host of central midfielders at his disposal – McCrorie, Arfield, Ovie Ejaria, Ryan Jack, Greg Docherty, Graham Dorrans, Jordan Rossiter, Andy Halliday and Lassana Coulibaly – it seems unlikely that Candeias will have many more chances in that role, but it showed that Gerrard isn't afraid to experiment with new ideas early into the job.

Daniel Joao Santos Candeias of Rangers reacts after the Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on December 30, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

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