Sparta Prague boss Pavel Vrba shot down a question from a journalist ahead of his team’s Europa League Group A clash with Rangers.
The Gers are set to do battle with the Czech giants on Thursday evening at the Letna Stadium in front of a 10,000-strong crowd consisting mainly of children.
During Vrba’s press conference on Wednesday, he confirmed several injury blows before fielding questions about the Gers.
One journalist asked what he had learned from Rangers’ meetings with Sparta’s fiercest rivals Slavia in the Last 16 of the competition last season.
It wasn’t a question the 57-year-old had much time for, though.
“I didn’t watch the Rangers and Slavia matches,” he said (translated). “I saw their recent match, I don’t care how they played half a year ago.”
Pavel Vrba: „Na zápasy Rangers se Slavií jsem se nedíval. Viděl jsem jejich nedávné utkání, nezajímá mě, jak hráli před půl rokem.“ pic.twitter.com/L0QDT5VPuW
— AC Sparta Praha (@ACSparta_CZ) September 29, 2021
Later in the press conference, though, after being asked how he intends to play against Rangers, Vrba would give a more detailed assessment of Steven Gerrard’s side.
“It has been the best team in Scotland in recent years,” he said [Sparta.cz]. “They have a good squad, and they are the first in the Scottish league. It will be such a difficult challenge.”
“Rangers have a good quality, they are well organized and difficult in one on one situations. We need to respect it.
“I think the favourite of our group is Lyon. The other three teams will be competing for the spots in the next round.”
It was a respectful answer from Vrba and Rangers fans will appreciate the recognition of the club’s recent superiority in the Premiership.
Steven Gerrard was also keen to praise Sparta during his press conference but even though the visitors are experiencing a defensive crisis, they are ranked 72 places above their opponents in the UEFA club coefficient and should fancy their chances of bringing something back to Glasgow.