THERE was a minute’s silence friendly for Harold Davis and Johnny Hubbard, two Rangers legends who had passed away during the summer, before this pre-season friendly at Ibrox last night.

But thereafter the huge crowd who had filed through the turnstiles to see new manager Steven Gerrard take charge of his first game in public as well as get their first glimpse of new signings they hope will be stars of tomorrow kept the decibel levels high.

Davis and Hubbard, who were no strangers to noisy grounds during their glorious heydays, would doubtless have heartily approved.

This was quite a welcome to Scotland for Gerrard. Dressed in a black Rangers tracksuit with a hooded top, the Liverpool and England great spent much of the encounter pacing around the technical area.

When the fans Copland Road Stand started chanting his name midway through the first-half he acknowledged their backing with a thumbs up. But he was more interested in applauding his charges’ best passages of play and had cause to do so frequently.

It is unreasonable to expect too much from this Rangers side given that the new man at the helm has only been in the door for a matter of weeks. It will take time for new arrivals to settle in and the side to gel. But there were certainly encouraging early signs from many of those involved in what proved to be a one-sided 90 minutes.

Bury, the English League Two side who are managed by his close friend Ryan Lowe, proved the perfect opposition for such an occasion. The visitors were, to the delight of the home support, easily overcome.

No fewer than six of the new signings who have arrived in Govan since Gerrard officially started at the beginning of last month kicked off the game – Allan McGregor was given the nod in goals, Connor Goldson and Nicola Katic formed the central defensive partnership with Jon Flanagan outside them at left back while Scott Arfield played in central midfield inside Jamie Murphy.

Murphy, who had spent the second half of the 2017/18 campaign on loan from Brighton prior to making the move to his boyhood heroes permanent, opened the scoring early on and Katic and Arfield put the home team three goals up by half-time.

Murphy rounded off a well-worked attacking move involving Arfield and Daniel Candeias down the right flank in the seventh minute. Katic marked his debut by netting a long-range strike 12 minutes later. Opposition keeper Matthew Hudson allowed a left foot effort bobble over him. Arfield got in on the act 10 minutes before half-time after Hudson palmed a Murphy attempt to his feet.

Flanagan, the former Liverpool defender whose acquisition has been mired in controversy due to his previous conviction for assaulting his girlfriend, caught the eye in the 45 minutes that he was on the park. He looked comfortable on the ball, distributed it intelligently and got about the pitch well.

He looked, though, short of match fitness and failed to reappear for the second half. Declan John, one of the better performers last season, took his place. Lee Wallace, the former club captain who is currently out injured after being suspended and fined by his employers for a disciplinary matter he has appealed against, will have his work cut out winning his place back when he returns.

Gerrard made a triple substitution in the 63rd minute. Candeias, Ross McCrorie and Murphy came off and Andy Halliday, Ryan Jack and Glenn Middleton came on. The change had an immediate impact. Middleton, a Scotland youth internationalist, set up Arfield for his second of the evening just two minutes after coming on when he squared across goal.

More replacements soon followed. Katic and Arfield came off and off and Aidan Wilson and Greg Docherty on. Rangers forged five in front two minutes later when Alfredo Morelos headed home a Windass delivery at the far post.

Then Morelos, James Tavernier, Windass made way for Serge Atakayi, Hodson and Zak Rudden. The latter put his side six in front when he converted a Middleton cross from just a few yards out.

One of the biggest cheers of the evening was reserved for McGregor when he was replaced by Robbie McCrorie as Kyle Bradley also took over from Goldson with 11 minutes left on the clock.

Atakayi, Bradley, Robbie McCrorie, Rudden and Wilson were all making their first appearances for the Rangers first team. Their involvement suggested that Gerrard, a player who broke into the Liverpool side as a teenager, will be prepared to give youth a chance.

A crowd of 41,015 filed through the turnstiles. With Brazil taking on Belgium in the second World Cup quarter-final in Russia at the same time it was a remarkable turnout.

There will be far greater challenges ahead for Gerrard and this Rangers side in the coming months. Indeed, the opening match of a Europa League first qualifying round double header takes place at Ibrox on Thursday. FK Shkupi of Macedonia should, given the amount of investment there has been in their hosts, be easily overcome.

But a closed door game against Welsh minnows The New Saints at The Hummel Training Centre on Tuesday and this match against Bury are hardly extensive preparation. There is no margin for error. But Gerrard certainly looks up for it and will have no shortage of backing from those in the stands.