MARK ALLEN reckons Steven Gerrard set the tone for the campaign during his first pre-season at Ibrox.

The 38-year-old took his side to Spain for a ten-day training camp last month as he stepped up his preparations for the Europa League qualifiers and a crack at the Premiership.

The Light Blues beat Welsh side TNS in a behind-closed-doors game at the Hummel Training Centre before the Ibrox crowd got their first chance to see Gerrard’s side in action on Friday.

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The 6-0 win over Bury was the final warm-up for the first competitive action against FK Shkupi.

Rangers host the Macedonian outfit in the Europa League first qualifying round on Thursday.

And Director of Football Allen has been pleased with the progress over the summer schedule.

“I think, as pre-seasons go, it couldn’t have gone much better,” he told RangersTV. “It was a great opportunity for the new manager and his staff to integrate with everybody else, to get to know his playing staff, to evaluate certain things, to get a good feel and to set a tone, if you like, for the season, which he did very clearly.

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“It was a very productive training camp, the lads worked extremely hard and there were a number of pictures coming back showing that. I think we all felt it was a very productive trip.

“I knew what I was going to get in many respects because obviously I know the guys from my previous roles.

“But I think they set the tone extremely well from day one in terms of what was expected and it was very well organised, very professional, as you would expect.

“So, impressed yes, surprised no.”