STEVEN GERRARD believes Rangers will have to produce their best defensive showing of his tenure if they are to see off Braga in the Europa League.

The Gers arrived in Portugal last night with a 3-2 advantage in the last 32 tie following their remarkable win at Ibrox.

Braga looked to be cruising into the next round as they caused Rangers real problems last week but an Ianis Hagi double and Joe Aribo strike has turned the tie in their favour.

Gerrard was hugely critical of the way his side defended during the draw with St Johnstone on Sunday and Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic have come under the spotlight for an erratic showing in Perth.

"I think you are alluding to me giving my team away," Gerrard said when asked about Goldson and Katic in Braga.

"Collectively, as a group, we are going to have to defend very well. We are going to have to be organised, have the right distances about us.

"We are going to have to be really tough and make sure the opposition feel us. In saying that, I want us to do it the right way and play with discipline.

"In no way can we lose our shape or having individuals thinking they can do their own thing. Because at times in the first half of the first leg we did that and were punished heavily for it. Collectively, we are going to have to probably find our best defensive performance as a group."

The Saints stalemate summed up Rangers' fortunes in recent weeks since their Old Firm triumph before the break.

Katic was the match-winner on that occasion but has now seen his recent performances domestically criticised.

Gerrard said: "That is part of being a Rangers player. The praise is good when you score the winner at Celtic Park. You have the reverse as people think you are the best thing on the planet and you lap that adulation up.

"I think he enjoyed that so you need to take the rough with the smooth. That's the life of a footballer. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it isn't. You have to ride the journey out.

"When it's up, it's up. When it's down, you need to work even harder, reset and regroup.

"I have spoken to Niko, yeah. He is a good type, the ultimate professional and to be fair to the kid, for his age, he is one who will take accountability.

"He will stand up and will never hide. If he's ever made a mistake for us, his hand goes straight up in the air. I respect and admire that but as a professional, he's immaculate."