Royal Antwerp boss Franky Vercauteren has moved to explain why his side had to train at the Rangers Training Centre ahead of the clash at Ibrox.
Normally teams train at the opposition side’s stadium prior to European ties but this time around the Belgian side continued their preparations at Auchenhowie.
The Jupiler Pro League club’s official Twitter account would confirm this was in order to preserve the pitch at Ibrox and Vercauteren would expand on this ahead of the match.
“It was a demand of Rangers,” said Vercauteren [Daily Record].
“I’m a football fan, so I want to protect the field to play the game. We don’t want to demolish the field with respect to the opponent and ourselves.
“We want to play in the best conditions. That’s why we are here. When you are a professional team, you have to understand the demands of the other team. We would not want another team to kill our field.
“That’s why we are training here instead. Training the day before the game is not so important.”
The Belgian boss also opened up on the challenge his side faces when they come to Ibrox this week.
Rangers are currently 4-3 ahead after a frenzied first leg in Belgium where Borna Barisic scored a late penalty to win the tie for Steven Gerrard’s side.
Antwerp need to score at least two at Ibrox and Vercauteren is in no doubts his team will have to find their best in Glasgow.
“We have to accept the reality that we lost and we need to score two goals more,” said Antwerp boss Vercauteren.
“We know the difficulties because of the quality of the opponent. We need to be better than we were in the first game but we also showed in that match that we can score.
“We have to find a balance between attacking and defending because the more we concede the more we will have to score.
“We still need to believe and be hopeful, that we have the belief we can still do something.
“We need to win and we need to score. We also know they are favourites but in football anything is possible.
“We will give our maximum and if we are beaten then we know we will have been beaten by the better team.”
Here’s our predicted XI for the match at Ibrox which kicks off at 5:55pm this evening in Glasgow.