Sparta boss recalls his last trip to Ibrox ahead of Rangers clash

Midtjylland's defeat in Glasgow paved the way for Priske's managerial career.

Sparta Prague boss recalls his pivotal last trip to Ibrox ahead of Rangers clash SNS Group

Brian Priske recalled how his managerial career began after a defeat at Ibrox as he prepared for Sparta Prague’s Europa League clash with Rangers on Thursday night.

The 46-year-old Dane was assistant to Kenneth Andersen when the Light Blues faced Danish side FC Midtjylland in the Europa League qualifiers in 2019.

A 3-1 win at Ibrox took Rangers through 7-3 on aggregate and it proved to be the final act for Andersen who subsequently stepped down from his post.

Priske replaced him and had a spell at Royal Antwerp before taking over at Sparta Prague in 2022.

Speaking at Ibrox, he was asked about his previous visit to the stadium.

“It was definitely not a good experience from a football perspective,” said Priske, who revealed midfielder Jakub Pesek did not make the trip to Glasgow as his wife is due to give birth.

“We lost as a team and as a club and crashed out of Europe in that game so it was definitely a tough experience.

“Afterwards the manager decided to step down a few days later after one of the league games and since then I have been working as a head coach.

“No doubt about it (being a chance I had been looking for). I had been working as an assistant coach for seven, eight years and was for sure aiming and had the ambitions to become a head coach but obviously it is a colleague and a good friend who was stepping down.

“But when you start your career as a coach I think it is obvious that you will slowly build on your ambitions and take it from there.”

The two sides battled out a goalless draw in Prague last month and since then Rangers have improved with wins over Hearts in the cinch Premiership and the Viaplay Cup semi-final, with a 5-0 win at Dundee in between

After three fixtures, Spanish side Real Betis top the group with six points with Sparta Prague and Rangers on four and Cypriot side Aris Limassol on three and Priske is hoping Ibrox proves to be luckier on this occasion.

He said: “It is difficult to evaluate improvement from a distance but we looked at it and Rangers have played some good games, especially the game at the weekend was strong (the 3-1 win over Hearts at Hampden Park).

“They have also got some players back from injury and Danilo will definitely be a handful.

“I still think that Abdallah Sima is a good players and caused us some issues and some problems.

“So we know it is going to be a tough fight for us, a tough atmosphere, so we will try to prepare the boys as good as we can and focus on some of the things we did well in the first game and also on some of the things we need to improve on in a game like this from a defensive perspective.”

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