Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Gerrard wants Rangers to build on winning start when they face Young Boys

The Light Blues opened their Europa League group campaign with a 1-0 defeat of Feyenoord.

Steven Gerrard wants Rangers to build on the win over Feyenoord (Graham Stuart/PA)
Steven Gerrard wants Rangers to build on the win over Feyenoord (Graham Stuart/PA)

By Euan Parsons, PA

Steven Gerrard has urged Rangers to build on their winning start to Europa League Group G with another positive result at Young Boys on Thursday.

The Light Blues visit the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf looking to pick up where they left off in Europe after opening their group campaign with a 1-0 home win against Feyenoord a fortnight ago.

The task facing Rangers is an entirely different one this time around, though, as they take on the Swiss champions in Bern without their usual away following after announcing in August that they would not request a ticket allocation for this game after receiving two UEFA charges.

Gerrard knows exactly what Rangers are up against but has underlined the importance of taking something from the game as they look to rack up valuable points.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference in Switzerland, he said: “It’s always important to try and get off to a positive start. Especially if your first game is at home.

“I thought the performance was very strong against Feyenoord, especially in the first hour or so of the game. Obviously they put us under a bit of pressure at the end of the game, which is quite normal because they were pushing for an equaliser.

bpanews_a41ad948-89fa-41a7-87fc-b5363ce83b13_embedded245420646
Sheyi Ojo scored the only goal as Rangers beat Feyenoord (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“A clean sheet and a win against a good team was the perfect start for us but it’s important we try and build on all that hard work.

“Now we’re away from home, it’ll be a different atmosphere, a different environment with no fans here and on a difficult pitch.

“The challenge is different this time around so we are coming here to try and win the game and do everything we can to do that, but it is important that we take something away from this fixture and try and build on the three points we started with.

“This will look different but in terms of the principles and what we want from the boys, it’ll be very similar in terms of effort and desire and what we have to do and the work we have to put into the 90 minutes to get the same outcome.”

Rangers have the added challenge of playing on an artificial surface on Thursday.

But Gers have had plenty of experience of such pitches in Scotland – beating Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena in their cup clash only last week – and Gerrard believes his players will cope again on Thursday.

He said: “Astroturf pitches are Astroturf pitches, you’ve just got to get on with it. We don’t want to use it as an excuse.

“Of course they’ll have an advantage, being at home with all the fans in the stadium and being a lot more used to the pitch than us.

“But we do get enough games to be able to cope on Astroturf pitches.”

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph