Rangers vs Sporting Braga - Gerrard warns Rangers players to be mindful of VAR

Posted Thursday, February 20, 2020 by PA

Rangers vs Sporting Braga - Gerrard warns Rangers players to be mindful of VAR

Steven Gerrard has warned Rangers to be on their best behaviour as his players come under the watchful eye of VAR for the first time.

The video assistant referee system will be in use as Rangers host Braga in the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday.

In UEFA competitions, VAR can be used to correct calls relating to goals, incidents in the penalty box, red cards and mistaken identity – but only when the referee has made a “clear and obvious mistake” on the field.

But Gerrard hopes his men will heed his warning and stay clear of such trouble.

He said: “We had a meeting a few weeks back when a couple of the Scottish referees came in and explained the rules of VAR and what the referees and UEFA are clamping down on.

“We’ve echoed that meeting to the players and made it nice and clear so the players are aware what to do and how to act in certain situations.

“It will be slightly different to what we’re used to so everybody has to be ready for that experience, staff included.

“The most important thing that came out of the meeting was to keep playing. There are certain situations when a flag goes up or stays down. In normal situations you might stop or wait, so it’s important we play to the end.

“It’s important we don’t use any gesture of VAR, crowd the referee or go towards the monitor. They’ve made it very clear they will act and dish out yellow cards.

“One thing for sure, we’re going to have to be careful and make sure we behave and we’re very disciplined over both legs.”

Micael Sequeira insists Braga are ready to weather a storm on Ibrox’s battered pitch.

Ruben Amorim’s men were denied their traditional eve-of-match look at the playing surface as the Light Blues ground staff battle to get it ready for action.

Rangers were forced to postpone Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Livingston by 24 hours as Storm Dennis left the field swamped.

And with Gers keen to protect it from further damage as the downpours over the city continue, Braga instead made their way to the Hummel Training Centre to complete their preparations.

But assistant boss Sequeira says his team are ready for whatever awaits.

He said: “This is a difficult task against a strong team. Rangers haven’t been beaten in 14 home games in Europe under Steven Gerrard and the weather could add complications.

“However, we have had to prepare and trained for these conditions and we have a game plan. We are hoping for a good result but we are expecting a strong team.

“Naturally, we would have preferred to train in the stadium. It would have been important for us to do that – but it just wasn’t possible.”

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