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We have to aim higher in Europe: Gerrard

 

Not satisfied: Steven Gerrard
Not satisfied: Steven Gerrard

By Andy Newport

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard believes Scottish clubs need to keep improving in Europe to atone for years of under-performing.

Both Old Firm sides registered significant victories in their respective Europa League groups on Thursday night, with Celtic winning away against Lazio and Rangers defeating Porto at Ibrox.

Those results have helped push Scottish football's Uefa coefficient to a five-year high and to within one spot in the rankings of having two Champions League qualifying places from 2021-22.

Gerrard savoured that upturn in fortunes but warned it would need to continue.

He said: "We all have to keep working towards making it better because the record isn't good enough for the size of the clubs that are up here with the history of Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen.

"We've all got a responsibility to try to improve that as over the past decade it hasn't been good enough. Clubs of that size deserve to be in Europe.

"It would be fantastic for the Scottish game (to get a second Champions League place) and it's exactly what it needs.

"We can only focus on what's here (at Rangers) and we've been working towards getting respect back in Europe. We want people to know we won't be pushovers."

Rangers must now prepare for tomorrow's trip to face Livingston at a ground where they lost last season. And Gerrard expects another physical encounter.

He added: "One of the biggest lessons we learned from last season was that you have to switch your focus pretty quickly. We have to be ready for whatever comes our way (tomorrow)."

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