Former Rangers captain Lee McCulloch insists that the Gers should aiming to reach the Europa League group stage next season under Steven Gerrard – and revealed his hope for some “memorable nights” at Ibrox.
This week marks a decade since the Light Blues were involved in the UEFA Cup final against Zenit St. Petersburg, and McCulloch hopes the Gers can take put themselves “back on the European map” again this season with impressive performances in the Europa League.
The former Gers skipper admits it will be “tough” for the Light Blues to reach the group stage – but hopes the Gers can do better than last season’s first-round knockout by Luxembourg’s Progres Niederkorn.
“So much has happened to the club since those heady days, and it may well be a while before we see Rangers on such a stage again. But with European football secured for next season, you have to hope that there are some memorable nights at Ibrox ahead just like in those times of old,” McCulloch said, as quoted by the Evening Times.
“The aim should be to get through the qualifiers, which will be tough, and to get into the group stages. For me, that would be a good step towards putting Rangers back on the European map once more.”
Football Insider verdict
Getting to the group stages would be massive for Rangers and give fans something to cheer early in the season. While it isn’t the most financially lucrative competition, a good run would make some money for the Gers and bring a bit of a feel-good factor to Ibrox after over six years without any substantial European football. A run to the final is incredibly unlikely but if Gerrard can get his side firing then reaching the group stages should be well within the Light Blues’ reach. It has been a long time since Ibrox was properly rocking on a European night – and Gers fans will be desperate to get a better taste of it this season. With eight weeks until the qualifiers get underway for Rangers, Gerrard better hope he is well prepared for the start of competitive games and has his side much prepared than Pedro Caixinha did 12 months ago.
In other Rangers news, Scott Arfield is looking forward to life at Ibrox and is sure this one thing will happen next seaon.