Steven Gerrard wants Rangers to ‘aim for the stars’ in Europa League

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has urged his players to ‘aim for the stars’ as they bid to take the club into the last eight of European competition for the first time in 13 years.

By Stephen Halliday
Friday, 26th February 2021, 5:00 pm

The Ibrox club have been drawn against Czech champions Slavia Prague in the last 16 of the Europa League after completing a memorable 9-5 aggregate win over Royal Antwerp in the round of 32 on Thursday night.

It’s the second successive season Gerrard has guided his squad to this stage of the competition where they lost 4-1 on aggregate to Bayer Leverkusen last year.

Rangers have not progressed beyond the last 16 in Europe since the 2007-08 campaign when they went all the way to the UEFA Cup Final under Walter Smith.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. Pic by PA.

Gerrard believes the opportunity is there for the runaway Premiership leaders to extend their current Europa League run into the quarter-finals and perhaps even further.

“We want to try and keep being ambitious and keep aiming for the stars and go one step further, or maybe two,” said Gerrard. “Who knows?

“It is a really exciting time to be connected to this club and we have worked so hard to put ourselves in this position.

“We have achieved something big and special by getting to the last 16 and matching last year.

“We have got a group of people here that want to capitalise on the opportunity that we have got.

“I have got every confidence and belief that we can go and do that.”

Slavia Prague, who beat Leicester City 2-0 on aggregate in the last 32, will be at home in the first leg on March 11 with the return fixture at Ibrox seven days later.

“I am excited and satisfied with the draw,” said Slavia coach Jindrich Trpisovsky. “Rangers are coached by a former great player and a great coach in Steven Gerrard who I have always admired.

“In addition they have a beautiful stadium.

“I said that I wanted us to draw another British team after beating Leicester City on Thursday.

“We haven’t been to Scotland yet, so I’m extremely satisfied.”

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