Qualification for the competition may have been secured, but what is success for Rangers in the Europa League?

Arguably, they’ve already achieved it in qualifying. In fact, many would have you believe that was soaring above expectations as it is. They’d be right.

But now it’s time to start looking at the present and the future. What damage could Rangers do in the group stages and where should their targets lie?

Rangers qualified for the Europa League in impressive fashion (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

There’s no denying they’ve been dealt a tough hand. Villarreal, Spartak Moscow, and Rapid Vienna are no pushovers. The former two are heavily experienced in the Champions League. Vienna won’t be any mugs either.

In essence, fans should just enjoy the ride that this season is sure to provide in Europe.

Villarreal are going through their injury problems at the moment, but they’ll be a tough ask. That’s where the Gers visit first in a tough trip to El Madrigal. Anything other than a heavy defeat there is a success in truth.

Rangers got through against Ufa with a heroic nine-man draw in the play-off round. Spartak, however, are no Ufa. They’ll be intent on ending Rangers’ Europa League hopes quickly.

Many will also look at Vienna as a side where potential joy is there to grab. The Austrian outfit, however, finished third in their league last season, and are more than capable of beating Steven Gerrard’s men.

Away days are about to get a whole lot harder (MB Media/Getty Images)

It’s at Ibrox Rangers need to show every side no respect, and they must remember this isn’t the Champions League. Each side they face will be vulnerable in several ways.

With the cauldron of Ibrox at maximum temperature, Rangers and their supporters can do some deadly damage. The Gers are unbeaten in four home matches in European qualification. Five if you include Progres Niederkorn, but let’s not.

Away from home, Allan McGregor will need to have three top nights. If he doesn’t, Rangers are in bother.

In truth, however, success would just be proving to the fans they can compete at this level. Show the rest of Scotland and Europe that Rangers qualifying is going to be a sign of things to come.

Giving some of these big hitters a few scares throughout the group stage would be terrific. In their first year back in Europe though, you don’t want to be too expectant.

Should Gerrard’s side give their all though and take it to the opposition, fans will leave Ibrox satisfied.

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