George Edmundson admits he feared Rangers’ stunning Braga win was a dream.
The former Oldham defender was a surprise starter in Portugal as Steven Gerrard entrusted the 22-year-old with facing the hosts in place of the benched Nikola Katic.
But he did not let his manager down as he and Connor Goldson formed a partnership firmer than the massive rock looming over one end of the Estadio Municipal.
Ryan Kent’s winner sealed a 1-0 win and a 4-2 aggregate triumph and Edmundson admits the result which fires Gers into the Euopa League last 16 is already the highlight of his career.
He said: “I found out I was starting the other day but I wasn’t nervous – I was more excited. I was chuffed to be involved.
“The manager’s message to me before the game was just to do the basics well, to be confident and be solid.
“I gave Davo (Steven Davis) a hospital pass almost straight from kick-off but I got it out my system quickly. We were told to be confident on the ball and I suppose everyone is allowed one wobble per game.
“But the feeling after the game was amazing. After the whistle went I thought somebody was about to wake me up. It’s class – one of the best days of my life.”
Goldson and Katic found themselves in the firing line from supporters after allowing St Johnstone to claim a 2-2 draw on Sunday which has killed off any hopes of a title tilt.
But Edmundson paid tribute to his side-kick, saying: “It was great to have Connor beside me. He’s taken me under his wing and has been massive for me. People probably don’t notice the thing he does in games but he coaches you and acts like a captain.
“He’s been really good for me and improves me every day. He’s a top professional and when we’re training and playing games he gives me little bits of advice.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve arrived as a Rangers player just yet. It’s only one performance so I need to keep going and improving.
“I probably felt (a bit of pressure because the defence has been under scrutiny) but we stuck to the gameplan and have come out winners.
“We spoke through the week about how we were going to play and I thought we nailed our gameplan to a T.”