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Nerves are out of Gers' system, insists Johansson

 

By Gavin McCafferty

Rangers coach Jonatan Johansson believes they will be better off for getting their tense Europa League opener out of the way.

Kenny Miller's first-half strike was all Rangers had to show following the first European match at Ibrox for six years as Progres Niederkorn kept themselves in it ahead of tonight's second leg.

But Johansson always suspected the occasion would be difficult as Pedro Caixinha handed out five debuts, to Ryan Jack, Fabio Cardoso, Dalcio, Alfredo Morelos and Daniel Candeias.

And he feels there were plenty of signs that they can finish the job off in Luxembourg.

Johansson said: "The first game was always going to be a little bit tense, with the crowd and everything else, it was a fantastic occasion at Ibrox.

"For some of the players it was their first time together and their first time at Ibrox, so it was always going to be tense.

"I don't think it's going to be easy away from home, we are not underestimating the task. But I also feel very confident."

Many Rangers fans were expecting more goals but Johansson was more realistic.

"We had them watched many times and we knew it was going to be hard," the former Rangers and Finland striker said. "They are very well organised, they fight hard. It was the biggest game in their history so we knew it was going to be tough. There are no easy games in Europe."

Rangers travelled without Barrie McKay, who is in their Europa League squad but has been training with the Under-20s amid reports linking Nottingham Forest and Cardiff with potential moves for the winger.

Johansson brushed off questions over the progress of Rangers' attempts to sign Graham Dorrans after Norwich reportedly accepted a £1.5million offer for the Scotland midfielder.

"I don't know, you will have to ask the manager about that," he said.

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