STEVEN GERRARD reckons Rangers’ Europa League run shows how far they have come this term after they set a new Ibrox European record.

The Light Blues remain top of Group G despite being held to a goalless draw by Spartak Moscow on Matchday Three.

It was an eleventh game unbeaten for Gerrard’s side this term as they have banished the memories of their humiliation against Progres Niederkorn last season.

Gerrard said: “I would certainly have signed for being top of the group at this stage. I would have signed up for that on June 15 on day one.

“We have got five points alongside Villarreal and three games to go so there are a lot of hard work and big challenges ahead. The job has become a little bit more difficult because we never got the breakthrough tonight, I understand that.

“But there is still loads of football to play and big games for the players to play in and me to coach in. I am really excited going forward.

“I feel very proud of the team in general and to find out yesterday that if we avoided defeat we created a bit of history, that is always a bonus as far as I am concerned.

“It is a nice thing for people to talk about but our focus now shifts swiftly to Aberdeen at the weekend, which is a huge game.

“The players certainly deserve praise having come from where they were 12 months ago, losing against a team from Luxembourg. We have come on leaps and bounds.”

A draw with Villarreal and win over Rapid Vienna had Rangers dreaming of a knockout berth ahead of the visit of Spartak.

But the Gers couldn’t produce another rousing performance on the European stage as they struggled to break down their Russian visitors.

Gerrard said: “It was just that little bit of magic or last bit of quality we needed. We did enough to marginally win the game maybe. We played very well for 45 minutes. We lost control for 10 or 15 minutes in the second half.

“We kept winning the ball back and instead of making four or five passes, we gave it back to them and lost our shape and our way.

“Then we came strong into the game again for the final part. We always felt our fitness might be the difference in the final stages.

“We asked them at half-time if they could create that moment which gives us the breakthrough. We created the moment but just couldn’t finish it off.”

It was to prove a frustrating night for Rangers as chances proved hard to come by and Spartak got the point that they came for under the guidance of interim boss Raul Riancho.

And Gerrard was left with feelings of what might have been as his side were held on home soil.

He said: “Yes the players are disappointed in there that they didn't take maximum points, so that's a positive for me. It does show how far we've come.

“We can't expect to win every single game, we can't expect to blow teams away, especially teams of this calibre.

“They've made a change at Spartak because they are a big club and have standards themselves. They expect to win and be consistent.

“It's because they have got big players and players who cost an awful lot of money who have maybe not been hitting it off.

“I said before the game we have huge respect for this team and for us to come here and dominate for most of the game beside 20 minutes at the start of the second half is very pleasing for me as a manager.

“But we go away a tad frustrated that we haven't taken maximum points because we did want that control in the group before we went away.”