Steven Gerrard: Rangers boss daring to dream of Europa League glory

Steven Gerrard says Rangers are "100 per cent" dreaming of winning the Europa League; the Gers drew the away leg of their Round of 16 tie 1-1 with Slavia Prague on Thursday; the second leg is at Ibrox next Thursday three days before the Old Firm game

Steven Gerrard believes Rangers can add the Europa League to their Scottish Premiership title
Image: Steven Gerrard believes Rangers can add the Europa League to their Scottish Premiership title

Steven Gerrard says Rangers will dare to dream of going all the way in the Europa League.

The newly-crowned Scottish champions have ambitions of making their mark on the continent and Gerrard is refusing to put a limit on their targets after Thursday's 1-1 last-16 draw with Slavia Prague.

The Czechs dumped Brendan Rodgers' Premier League big guns Leicester out of the competition in the previous round but Gers more than held their own after a sticky start at the Eden Arena.

The result - and Filip Helander's away goal - now puts the Light Blues in a commanding position to progress to the quarter-finals following next Thursday's second leg at Ibrox.

And Gerrard said: "100 per cent we'll dream. We've been dreaming since we qualified. There's no harm in dreaming.

"But at the same time you've got to have respect for the opposition.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - MARCH 11: Rangers' Allan McGregor makes a late save during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 1st Leg between Slavia Prague and Rangers at the Sinobo Stadium, Prague on March 11, 2021, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Lukas Kabon / SNS Group) 1:05
After his outstanding save helped Rangers earn a 1-1 draw at Slavia Prague in the Europa League, Allan McGregor is described as one of the best goalkeepers in the UK by Kris Boyd, on the Scottish Football Podcast.

"You've got to realise the challenge and what's coming up against you.

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"This is a side who have gone away to a Premier League team and won comfortably, so in no way can we get carried away.

"It's always nice to dream but we probably have to find our biggest performance of the season at Ibrox to get this done."

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Like Gers, Slavia are unbeaten in their domestic title race and lead the Czech First League by 11 points after 22 games.

The Ibrox squad enjoyed their wild weekend of celebrations after being declared Scottish champions for the first time in a decade - but there was an early sickener in Prague as Nicolae Stanciu rifled a stunning opening goal past Allan McGregor.

Helander tapped home to square the match up as the colour returned to Rangers' cheeks.

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Celtic have fenced off their stadium ahead of next weekend's Old Firm with Rangers, live on Sky Sports.

But McGregor was the real hero of the night with his breathtaking one-handed stop in the final minute, meaning it is Gerrard's team who sit in the driving seat ahead of next week's return.

But the Ibrox boss is taking nothing for granted just yet.

"They are a real good team, a real powerful team," said Gerrard. "They are effective, they play vertical. We knew they weren't going to kill us from a technical point of view. But we knew we would have to match them physically in terms of their running power.

"We managed to do that after the opening stages of the game.

"But in no way in this game over or are we in any way, shape or form favourites.

"I think this tie sits 50-50 and it's a real exciting match to look forward to at Ibrox."

But Gers should have the luxury of increased options after Kemar Roofe returned to the action off the bench in the Czech capital.

However, Gerrard was more cautious on Ryan Jack's chances of featuring next week, saying: "I'd still say Jack is a doubt at this stage. He'd have to have a real positive four or five days coming up to be available.

"It's great to have Kemar back and a cameo will do him the world of good.

"If we can keep him here and get Jacko back as soon we can, with James Tavernier after that, we'll be in real good shape to finish the season as strongly as we can."

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