Gerrard: Europa League last eight would be ‘monumental’

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard believes Thursday's tie against Slavia Prague is one of the most important since he took charge.

Progressing past Slavia Prague to the quarter finals of the Europa League would be another “monumental” achievement, according to boss Steven Gerrard.

Rangers host the Czechs in Thursday’s second leg with the tie poised at 1-1 and after already securing a first Scottish title in a decade for the Ibrox club, Gerrard hopes his side can continue to rise to the big occasions.

The Rangers manager said: “It is right up there at the top of the most important games we have played in.

“The opportunity to achieve the last eight, from where the club was when I first came in, is a chance to achieve something monumental.

“We want to empty everything we have got into this game.

“We don’t have to worry about anything else that’s on the horizon, we just want to treat this game in isolation, go and give it our best and see where it takes us.

“If we are in that draw it will be a fantastic achievement.”

Rangers are unbeaten in Europe this season and, added to last year’s run to the Europa League last 16, have helped to boost Scotland’s UEFA coefficient.

A victory on Thursday night could, depending on results elsewhere, secure an automatic place in next year’s Champions League group stages.

Asked if that added even more incentive for the Light Blues Gerrard said: “Not for the players or myself in terms of the next 90 minutes but we are obviously well aware of that situation.

“We want to do everything we can for the country and to try and give ourselves the best chance in the future, of course we do.

“But the players just need to be focused on the game-plan and the task and worry about what is really in front of us.

“If we can find our best performance that gives us a positive result then everything else will care of itself.”

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