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Men's Football Rangers boss calls on team to use Celtic defeat as motivation

STEVEN GERRARD says Celtic’s Champions League exit should be a warning to his Rangers squad.

The Hoops saw their group stage hopes crumble after suffering a shock 4-3 defeat to Romanian champions Cluj at Parkhead.

Gers have Europa League ambitions to focus on and will now look complete the job against Midtjylland tomorrow.

Last week’s 4-2 victory in Denmark has put the Light Blues in the driving seat, but Gerrard wants his men to take note of Celtic’s fate and take appropriate action.

He said: “What last night shows is that European ties are never over, even when you get a positive result in the first leg.

“Some of these teams that people don’t know much about — Cluj from Romania, for example, or Midtjylland from Denmark — they carry a huge threat.

“They’re so desperate for financial reasons to progress, like most of us, so my players need to take note of last night and make sure we deal with our second leg much better.”

Celtic’s damaging defeat to Dan Petrescu’s side has dented hopes of Scotland’s European representatives being able to enter at a later stage.

With Scotland at 20th in Uefa’s ranking system, Gers and fellow Europa League competitors Aberdeen and Kilmarnock were all forced to kick off at the first qualifying round this season, as were Celtic in the continent’s premier competition.

A rise to 17th could yet see the top two in this year’s Premiership start at the second qualifying round next term and Gerrard admits it is crucial that the country’s top sides do their bit in Europe.

He said: “It’s certainly going to be detrimental because all the Scottish teams need to do as well as we can to improve the coefficient and give ourselves an advantage in these European competitions.

“From that aspect, [Celtic’s defeat] is very disappointing.

“But for me, I’m the manager of Glasgow Rangers and my focus is on the challenges that face us.”

Gers raced 3-0 up in Herning last week before a brief six-minute wobble allowed Midtjylland to pull two back, but Scott Arfield restored their advantage to two goals.


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