A Rangers victory over two legs against FC Ufa will put the Ibrox club back on the European map according to Rangers no.2 Gary McAllister.
And the former Leeds and Liverpool man is 100% right.
Rangers fans have been yearning to have big European nights at Ibrox again for years. With one more on Thursday, they’ll be hoping for at least another three before the year is out.
“I hope that’s why players want to come here”
Talking before Thursday’s tie McAllister said:
“It is a very tough competition to do well in [Europa League] because of the quality of the teams we could be up against, but it puts Rangers back on the map.
We all associate Rangers with big games under the floodlights at Ibrox against big clubs from Serie A or La Liga. I hope that’s why players come to play here.”
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The last time Rangers qualified for a European competition proper was eight years ago. In 2010-11 Rangers qualified for the Champions League group stages and played out a group with Manchester United, Bursapor and Valencia.
A third-place finish meant they dropped into the Europa League. Rangers navigated a tie with Sporting Lisbon before being pipped by a solitary goal over two legs against PSV.
Rangers have a great chance to make the group stages
Only a few years ago, big European nights under the lights seemed very far away indeed. Even after last year’s disappointment they still seemed out of reach.
Under Gerrard, Rangers look hard to beat and very capable of reaching the group stages.
FC Ufa of Russia has had a stumbling start to the season whilst Rangers have built from the back. Gerrard’s side is yet to go behind in nine competitive games this season.
They’ve conceded only four goals.
Gary McAllister is spot on. If Rangers do make it into the Europa League, the Ibrox club will well and truly be back on the European map.