Glasgow Rangers vs FC Porto - Gerrard wants Rangers to make home advantage count

Posted Thursday, November 07, 2019 by PA

Glasgow Rangers vs FC Porto - Gerrard wants Rangers to make home advantage count

Steven Gerrard has urged Rangers’ players and fans to pile the pressure on Porto at Ibrox.

Rangers are looking to build on their impressive performance in Portugal two weeks ago as they begin the second half of their Europa League group campaign.

Gerrard claimed before the 1-1 draw that Porto were favourites to top the group and feels they will still be expected to do so despite sitting two points off leaders Young Boys on four points along with Rangers.

But after taking the game to Porto for much of the second half in the Estadio do Dragao, Gerrard wants his side to make the most of their home advantage on Thursday.

“I don’t think the situation has changed just because of the 1-1 result,” he said.

“There will be huge pressure on Porto to win the game, there will be huge pressure on Porto to finish top of the group. I don’t think that’s going to change.

“But that doesn’t affect what we are going to do, we just need to focus on us.

“We don’t see it as pressure, we see it as an incredible opportunity to put on a show in front of our supporters. Obviously the carrot to beat one of the big names in Europe is more exciting really rather than a burden.

“We know the challenge and the threat Porto carry. There’s an incredible amount of respect for the team who are coming.

“Having said that, they are coming to our place, which will be rocking. I’m sure the fans are really excited and ready to get behind the players.

“The players, on the evidence of the last couple of days, look focused and ready.”

Rangers have an almost clean bill of health with only winger Jordan Jones (knee) is out injured.

The likes of Greg Docherty and Jamie Murphy are not listed in Rangers’ Europa League squad.

Porto manager Sergio Conceicao insists they are well accustomed to anything the Ibrox atmosphere can throw at them.

And Conceicao claimed Gerrard might have been bluffing when he claimed Porto remain favourites to win the group.

On Gerrard’s comments, the former Portugal and Inter Milan winger said: “That’s his opinion. I don’t know if that’s a bit of a bluff from Rangers.

“Historically we are used to playing in the Champions League and such competitions more than Rangers, although not this year.

“But we know European games are not easy. Rangers will draw on that aggression and competitiveness but we are prepared and we have worked to improve some things since the last game.

“Rangers are strong and we will try to be a little bit better to get the extra two points.

“Of course home fans make a big difference. We are aware of that because our own fans are the same.”

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