Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has vowed that his Gers side will not repeat the mistakes made by the team which was managed by Pedro Caixinha, when they begin their Europa League adventure.
The Gers were humiliated 2-1 on aggregate by Luxembourg minnows Progres Niederkorn, a result which all but ended Caixinha’s time as the boss at Ibrox.
Gerrard claims that the Gers will not be as ‘complacent’ when they take on Macedonian side FK Shkupi in July.
I don’t think it will be a very difficult team talk, that first qualifying round, because of what happened last year.
“The team and the squad were very complacent and went out at that stage, so the team talk is already done, really.
“It’s very important that you stay focused and show this team from Macedonia huge respect because they have earned the right to be here and play against Rangers.”
Football Insider verdict
Steven Gerrard is certainly taking no prisoners with his comments about the Rangers’ performances against Progres last season. But he is correct to be so critical as the loss to the Luxembourg side was truly embarrassing for the Gers, and probably their worst ever result in Europe. Gerrard will be confident that there is no repeat of that when the Light Blues take on FK Shkupi in his first competitive game in charge of the Ibrox side. There will be plenty of pressure on his team though, as a successful run in Europe is very important to the Gers, not just on the financial side, but when it comes to prestige. If they want to be considered a big club again, it is vital that they make the group stages of the Europa League, and that will be a big test for Gerrard and his new additions to the Gers side, after the failings of recent years which have pushed them back.
In other Rangers news, Gary McAllister has defended Gers potential signing of Jon Flanagan