Progres Niederkorn boss Roland Vrabec has insisted he “won’t allow” his players to be distracted by the prospect of facing Rangers in the next round of the Europa League after a first-leg win over Cork City.
The Luxembourg minnows secured a 2-0 first-leg win over the Irish side to give themselves a fantastic chance of facing the Gers again after knocking them out of the same competition two years ago.
Vrabec is happy his side picked up a win over Cork but admits there is still a “lot of work” to do to ensure they reach the second qualifying round.
“I am happy with the result, but also slightly frustrated because we should have scored at least three goals and made sure the tie was over,” Vrabec said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“As it stands, we still have a lot of work to do in the second leg. We made a fast start, played a nice aggressive game and won all our challenges.
“Of course we had a bit of luck because Cork City missed a penalty but, in the second half, we had so many good chances to score.
“We need the same performance at home to complete the job. I’m not thinking about the next round and neither are the players because I won’t allow them to. We are only concentrating on playing Cork.”
With Steven Gerrard’s side 4-0 up on aggregate against Gibraltarian minnows St. Joseph’s, the Light Blues already have one foot in the next round and will be looking for a chance to avenge the 2017 humiliation in Luxembourg.
The Gers are expecting to reach the group stages of the Europa League again this season and will be confident they can get by Progres if the sides do meet in the next round.
Whoever Rangers do end up facing, if they perform as they did in the second half in Gibraltar then they’ll have no difficulty in qualifying.