We are not easy meat in Europa League says Rangers boss Steven Gerrard

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard (left) and Scott Arfield during the press conference at Ibrox
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard (left) and Scott Arfield during the press conference at Ibrox

Steven Gerrard reckons Rangers’ Europa League rivals originally wrote off his side as easy meat - but the Ibrox boss insists they will not think that now.

Gers can take a step closer to the competition’s last 32 if they can sink Villarreal on Thursday night.

The Yellow Submarine thought they would have it so easy when they met in their Group G opener that coach Javier Calleja made nine changes to his side for the clash at El Madrigal.

But the Light Blues held their own as they claimed an impressive away point before going on to down Rapid Vienna at home.

Performances dipped when they managed just a point from their double-header with Spartak Moscow but they head into their rematch with the La Liga big guns just a point off the leaders.

And Gerrard believes there is little chance the Spaniards will be taking his side lightly this time.

“There is certainly belief in the team that we can make it to the last 32. When we played against Villarreal over there I thought we showed them too much respect in the first 45 minutes.

“But when we actually played with confidence and belief, we created a lot of problems.

“You know, I think we’ve been the surprise team in this group. I don’t think the opposition teams gave us much chance.

“I remember back to the draw. We were certainly the underdogs when the draw was made and I think the likes of Spartak and Villarreal probably saw us as comfortable opposition. So it’s credit to my players how well we’ve played.”