THE game was won, but the job isn’t yet done for Rangers. Nobody at Ibrox, and certainly not Steven Gerrard, will need told that.

The new Light Blues boss marked his competitive debut with a victory but the margin of the win over FK Shkupi – just 2-0 thanks to goals from Jamie Murphy and James Tavernier – means Rangers are not quite assured of their place in the Europa League second qualifying round.

The Gers assumed a one goal advantage against Progres Niederkorn would have been enough 12 months ago. The rest, they say, is history.

With double that lead to take to Macedonia, Gerrard will be confident his side won’t succumb to a similar fate on Tuesday.

But he will certainly take nothing for granted. As he said pre-match, Rangers aren’t good enough right now to take any challenge lightly.

The arrival of the Liverpool and England legend has re-energised supporters and that momentum must be maintained going into the start of Premiership campaign. This was a step, a very small one, in the right direction and now another must be taken next week.

Ibrox was packed to the rafters and bouncing long before kick-off as the Light Blue legions welcomed Gerrard and his new-look side. Less than a week after 41,000 saw the win over Bury, 49,309 turned out as the Gerrard era got off and running.

The 38-year-old has spoken of the importance of Rangers’ home form this term and making Ibrox something of a fortress once again will be imperative if Gerrard is to achieve anything in his first campaign at the helm.

The decibel levels wouldn’t have reached some of those that Gerrard experienced during the famous European nights at Anfield but it was an insight into what could be possible if he can really give the home crowd something to cheer in the coming months.

Gerrard selected the side starting line-up from that win over Bury but there was one alteration for the manager as he exchanged his training gear for a suit on his first competitive outing in the dugout.

Rangers were on the attack from the first whistle but they somehow returned to the dressing room at the end of each half with only one goal to show for their dominance.

An effort from Blagoja Ljamchevski – the Macedonian clipping the top of the bar from distance - aside, the Shkupi caused Rangers few problems.

It was one-way traffic but the Gers had to be patient as they pressed and probed at the Shkupi defence. Murphy fired wide early on while a series of crosses came to little.

When the goal arrived after 23 minutes, it came at the end of one of their most flowing moves of the half.

The break was quick as Josh Windass and Tavernier combined and the ball was shifted to Murphy on the left. His shot wasn’t struck that cleanly, but it was still too powerful for Suat Zendeli as the ball ended up in the net.

As Ibrox celebrated, Gerrard marked the moment with a fist-pump. Within seconds, he had called Daniel Candeias over in an attempt to tweak things in the middle of the park.

The Portuguese was again deployed in a more central role alongside Ross McCrorie and Scott Arfield, while Windass was wide on the right. It is a change for both players and is very much a work in progress.

On the other flank, Murphy was much more effective. It was the winger that opened the scoring in Gerrard’s first game last week and now the Light Blues were off and running once again.

Gerrard would have been pleased with some of the early signs, and the goal, but a series of missed chances would have frustrated. Rangers were comfortable on the park, but not yet on the scoreboard.

Windass saw a header at the back post blocked before he flashed another over the bar from a Morelos cross. After a quiet start, the midfielder had finally got involved in proceedings.

Zendeli made up for his earlier error with a smart stop to palm away a deflected strike from Jon Flanagan. From the resulting corner, Connor Goldson headed just wide.

Having led Rangers out as captain, Tavernier was keen to lead by example. He should have had an assist to his credit but Morelos couldn’t divert his cross home from close range, while Goldson should have done better with a header at the back post as he found the side netting.

It was the last chance of a mixed first half for Rangers. Their passing and movement had been crisp at times but too many moves had broken down prematurely and the second goal to break Shkupi’s spirit hadn’t arrived.

When the visitors started brightly after the break, the first murmurs of discontent were audible around Ibrox. Gerrard wasted little time in turning to his bench, Ryan Jack taking over from Candeias just seconds after Blazhe Illjoski had flicked a corner just over the bar.

The tempo and energy wasn’t quite there for Rangers and another chance came and went as Windass’ header, again from a teasing Tavernier cross, skimmed the top of the bar.

It was soon the end of the night for Arfield as Ovie Ejaria made his Light Blues bow following his arrival on a loan deal from Liverpool last month.

Rangers continued to see plenty of the ball but they weren’t exactly cutting through Shkupi with ease as the Macedonians counted down the minutes. Rangers didn’t have time to glance at the scoreboard as they focused on getting an important second goal.

Youngster Glenn Middleton was Gerrard’s final switch as he replaced Windass. The cheer of approval from sections of the home crowd told their own story about the Englishman’s fortunes.

As Shkupi stood firm, Rangers became increasingly frustrated. Victory was in their sights but the second goal never looked that likely.

In the final moments, the chance arrived. It was one that Tavernier didn’t pass up as he slotted home from the spot after Murphy had been fouled.

The roar of celebration was followed by a collective sigh of relief. Rangers had their breathing space.