Bougherra: Tour down under beneficial
Rangers opened their Sydney Festival of Football effort with a 2-1 victory over Blackburn on Sunday. Manager Walter Smith sent out his strongest available XI, and first-half goals from Maurice Edu and Kenny Miller earned the Scottish champions a win over Sam Allardyce's men.
With each goal worth a point, Rangers are three behind AEK Athens, who beat hosts Sydney 5-3 earlier in the day.
Algeria defender Bougherra was boosted by a victory over top-flight opposition from England and feels the following two games will prove just as valuable. Bougherra, who played in an unfamiliar right-back role as minor injuries robbed Smith of Steven Whittaker and Sasa Papac, said: "It was good for us to win because we were playing against a Premier League team and I think we did well. Now we have two more games to play here against two teams - Sydney and AEK Athens - who play two different styles of football.
"It is good for us to be playing such different sides because it will help us to get ready for the Champions League. I think it is beneficial for us to go away to a place such as this and play different sorts of teams because it gives us a platform for the future."
Rangers dominated the first half and Miller missed a second-half penalty before David Dunn pulled one back from the spot to set up a nervous finish. Smith told rangersfc.co.uk: "I'm pleased with the result and I think we played very well at the start of the game and in the first half especially. After the break, we only had a little spell in the middle where we kept reasonable possession of the ball and we showed little bits of tiredness.
"Of course, we could have gone 3-0 up but we're still pleased with how things went and we're delighted to get an outing like the one we had. Blackburn are very good at pinning teams back and they did that very well in the second half but we coped with it. We're getting up to a level of competitiveness we need - we had that today and hopefully the other games we play in will be very similar."