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Europa League: Under-fire Rangers can still have final say

By Ronnie Esplin

Rangers legend Andy Goram believes the Ibrox club can go all the way to the Europa League final this season.

After crashing out of their Champions League qualifier to Swedish side Malmo, Ally McCoist's men face Maribor in the first leg of their Europa League play-off tie in Slovenia tomorrow night.

The former Scotland goalkeeper, who was a mainstay of the Light Blues' squad which captured nine-in-a-row during the late 1980s and 1990s, claims the Scottish champions have now found their level and could replicate their run to the UEFA Cup final in 2008 where they were beaten in the Manchester final by Zenit St Petersburg.

Speaking in Glasgow where he was publicising the upcoming Homeless World Cup in Paris where Scotland will be represented by both men's and women's teams, Goram said: “It was disappointing going out of the Champions League but we were never going to win the Champions League.

“We have dropped down to the Europa League and we dropped down a few years ago and got to the UEFA Cup final in Manchester.

“And if we play like we can do there is nothing to stop us doing it again.

“We have found our level and we are decent at that level.

“We got to Manchester with a team that was supposedly not very good and we also won the (cup) double.

“At this stage that season, people were saying 'could we?' And we got to the final. So, believe.”

Meanwhile, McCoist will give his injured defenders as long as possible to prove their fitness ahead of tomorrow.

David Weir has a chance after recovering from a hamstring problem and was expected to fly out with the squad this morning.

Kyle Bartley could also make the trip despite coming off in the 2-0 SPL win at Inverness on Saturday with a groin strain.

Lee McCulloch, another option at centre half, has also returned to training and he could yet be passed fit.

McCoist is still looking to bring more players into his squad, including in defence following the departure of Madjid Bougherra.

Belfast Telegraph


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