Rangers Europa League draw: ‘Disappointed if we don’t get out of the group,' says Steven Gerrard
Ibrox boss reacts to Group D draw
Steven Gerrard has expressed his confidence Rangers can progress beyond the group stage of the Europa League for a third successive season after they were bracketed with Benfica, Standard Liege and Lech Poznan in Friday’s draw.
Rangers are third seeds in Group D but Gerrard believes they can again punch above that ranking to claim one of the top two spots and qualify for the knockout phase of the tournament.
In his first two seasons as Rangers manager, Gerrard guided his team to the last 32 and last 16 respectively in the Europa League.
“The challenge is to try and get out of the group, of course it is,” said Gerrard who savoured an impressive 2-1 win over Galatasaray at Ibrox in the play-off round on Thursday night.
“No-one will be shouting from the rooftops, because we have to respect the opposition that are in the group. They are good teams in their own right, they have got good players.
“But we will take each game as it comes, give it everything we have got and try and do our best to finish as high as we can in the group.
“I would be disappointed if we don’t get out of the group because the players have shown over the last couple of years that we have got a level in Europe, that we are a tough nut to crack and we have shown amazing quality going forward as well.
“We will be a good contest for anyone in the group, home or away, and I am really looking forward to the challenge.
“The Europa League as a whole seems to be getting stronger each year. Teams are getting better and improving.
‘I was really impressed with some of the names in the draw. All the groups look like tough challenges across the board. It’s nice for us that we get to play Benfica and Lech Poznan for the first time (in Rangers’ European history).
“It’s a tough group but we’ll give it our best shot. But it will be tough to get out of it because there are three other good teams in there.”
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