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Lee Wallace is so keen to make up for lost time in Europe

By Andy Newport

Published 23/04/2016

Euro mission: Lee Wallace wants to qualify for the Europa League by beating
Hibs in the Scottish Cup final after a four-year absence from the continent
Euro mission: Lee Wallace wants to qualify for the Europa League by beating Hibs in the Scottish Cup final after a four-year absence from the continent

Lee Wallace gave up four years of European football when he joined Rangers' journey back to the top - now he is desperate to ensure another crack at the continent does not slip through his fingers.

The Ibrox skipper is the only remaining senior player who served the club before the liquidation meltdown in 2012.

While others darted for the door, Wallace and the likes of Lee McCulloch chose to remain loyal to Ally McCoist's side, staying on to help launch the Light Blues' recovery job, but it took a year longer than planned for Rangers to reclaim their place in the top flight - and only after Mark Warburton was called in after last year's promotion flop.

Wallace, who will face Alloa today, paid a price, though, giving up his international prospects as well as the chance to compete on the European stage.

The 28-year-old can book a return to the Europa League next month if his team beat Hibernian in the final of the Scottish Cup and he is determined not to spend another 12 months on the outside looking in.

Wallace - this week nominated for PFA Scotland's Championship Player of the Year award alongside team-mate Martyn Waghorn and Hibs duo Jason Cummings and John McGinn -said: "My debut for Rangers was against Malmo in the Champions League qualifiers. It was a poor result, but I've had a small taste.

"However, I've given up four years of this. I don't want any more chances to slip by.

"Since the new manager came in, that has always been part of our goals. When he first came in, he mentioned that it had to be our aim to represent Rangers on European nights, hearing that Champions League music.

"Now we've got the carrot of the Europa League next season. It's in our hands and we can go grab that opportunity on May 21. Hopefully we can put ourselves in a good position to get back to European football, because that is where we want to be, up against the world's best players.

"This is what Rangers do. They win top-flight medals, they compete in top European competitions and the squad we've got will be hungry to achieve that."


Alloa Athletic

Scottish Championship:

Ibrox, Today, 12.30pm

Belfast Telegraph

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