IN what will be a season of firsts, this was another item ticked off for Steven Gerrard. Sooner rather than later, another marker post will be reached and a more significant test must be passed.

Come the end of the campaign, this match with Bury will have no meaning whatsoever. In the here and now, it was an important moment for the 38-year-old, though.

Around 10,000 fans greeted Gerrard when he was unveiled as boss back in May but that was merely a taster of the excitement that is coursing through the Gers support ahead of the new campaign.

More than four times that crowd turned out to see Gerrard make his dugout debut and Ibrox will be packed once again when the Light Blues face FK Shkupi in the Europa League first qualifying round next Thursday.

The World Cup quarter-final between Brazil and Belgium kept armchair fans entertained but there was enough in this one to justify the first trip to Ibrox of the season for Gers punters. The small band of Bury fans added a touch of Russia 2018 to proceedings with a couple of choruses of ‘It’s coming home’.

Gerrard will, of course, hope that is the case for Gareth Southgate’s side this summer but his ambition is similar in a domestic sense as he looks to bring the Premiership silverware back to Ibrox this term.

The Europa League will provide him with his first couple of competitive clashes but it is all about the league for the Liverpool legend. Where Mark Warburton, Pedro Caixinha and Graeme Murty failed, he must succeed.

This routine victory was no indicator of what chance Rangers have in the top flight but it was at least another step, albeit small one, in the right direction in terms of their preparation.

Gerrard’s name was given the loudest roar as the teams were read out ahead of kick-off before supporters got their first sight of him on the touchline. He opted for the new all-black training gear rather than the shirt, tie and suit but there is nothing casual about the way in which Gerrard operates.

Standards have been raised and new practices have been put in place. In the coming weeks, improvements will continue to be made.

This was the first public showing and while the performance and the result were both pleasing for Gerrard, neither he nor the fans that welcomed him to Ibrox will read too much into his maiden night at the office.

This was a chance for Gerrard and his players to get accustomed to their new surroundings and the home crowd would certainly have made an impression on those that took their first steps out of the tunnel onto a sun-kissed playing surface.

Allan McGregor, of course, has seen and done it all before at Rangers but the returning keeper was joined by several of his fellow summer recruits. Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic started at the heart of a back four and were flanked by Jon Flanagan and James Tavernier, who wore the captain’s armband.

Ross McCrorie and Scott Arfield were the central pairing in midfield, while Jamie Murphy and Daniel Candeias operated more infield than wide as they attempted to provide ammunition for Josh Windass and Alfredo Morelos.

The Colombian had the first shot of the night as his effort from close range was blocked but Rangers didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock.

Morelos and Tavernier combined well down the right and when the Englishman’s low cross broke to Murphy, he made no mistake in converting as he notched the first goal of the campaign on home soil.

Gerrard spoke last month about the style of his side and the characteristics he expects to see in his team. Rangers will, he hopes, be an aggressive, high tempo and attacking outfit.

The early signs are that this new-look Gers will have a fresh approach, and not just because of the obvious physicality that Gerrard has added with his summer recruitment drive.

The move that led to Murphy’s opener was the first of many from Rangers as they dominated proceedings. In truth, that was to be expected against a Bury side that are preparing for a League Two title challenge south of the border this term.

There was still enough to be encouraged about, however, and the 3-0 lead Rangers enjoyed at the interval certainly didn’t flatter them. They were comfortable and in control.

There was a touch of good fortune about their second goal as keeper Matthew Hudson failed to deal with a low strike from Katic but the third came from another neat passage of play. Morelos set Murphy free on the left side of the area and when his shot was saved, Arfield was on hand to mark his debut with a goal.

That was enough to secure the win for Gerrard’s side but there was no sense of Rangers going through the motions as the changes inevitably followed.

Flanagan made way for Declan John at the break, while Ryan Jack returned to action after six months out of action on the hour mark. He was joined by Glenn Middleton and Andy Halliday as Gerrard freshened things up.

The fourth goal arrived just minutes later as Middleton made an immediate impact. His movement was clever and his cross found Arfield, who again had a simple task to knock the ball into the net.

That was the case for Morelos, too, as he made it 5-0 with 20 minutes remaining. Windass provided the cross and the striker nodded home at the far post to bring the home crowd to their feet once again.

The make-up of both sides had altered almost completely but Bury continued to put up little fight or resistance. Another substitute, Zak Rudden, made it 6-0 from close range.

The coming days will give Gerrard a chance to reflect and to fine-tune. Next time, the new era really gets going at Ibrox.