Eck's call to Ibrox arms
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Alex McLeish wants The Gers to make home advantage count against Villarreal.
Rangers manager Alex McLeish is desperate to make home advantage count in his side's UEFA Champions League first leg clash against Villarreal.
The Gers host the Spaniards at Ibrox on Wednesday and McLeish hopes, after his side returned to winning ways at the weekend against Hibernian, that his players can produce similar displays to those that ensured the Scots' progression from the group stages of the competition.
McLeish is aware his side approach the tie as underdogs and therefore hopes to reap maximum reward ahead of what is sure to be a testing second leg at El Madrigal in two weeks' time.
"Hopefully we can exploit any chink at all and our players will raise their game as they have done in this competition and the Rangers crowd are like the proverbial extra man for us," McLeish told Sky Sports News.
McLeish's cause is boosted by the return of Fernando Ricksen after the Dutchman was forced to sit out the last two SPL matches against Celtic and Hibernian after being laid low with a stomach strain.
"Fernando will now be brought back into the squad. We can rely on his experience. He has played in every round and is available to us," added McLeish.
But, having produced a fine performance in the 2-0 win over Hibs, McLeish must decide whether to tinker with a successful side particularly as another recent absentee, Julien Rodriguez, impressed in his first outing since injury.
McLeish added: "He [Rodriguez] is fine. He is a good solid defender, he reads the game well and he showed on Saturday that he's back to fitness again.
"His timing couldn't be any more perfect."