We’re not legends yet, insists Steven Gerrard as his Rangers side stand on brink of European record ahead of Spartak Moscow test
- Steven Gerrard has warned his Rangers side they are not club legends just yet
- The Gers are on the cusp of beating a club European record from 1992-93
- Should Gerrard’s side avoid defeat against Spartak Moscow, they would beat it
Steven Gerrard insists his Rangers team have not yet earned the right to be feted alongside the club’s European legends.
Avoid defeat to Spartak Moscow on Thursday and the Ibrox side will reach 11 successive European games unbeaten in a single season, surpassing the record set by Walter Smith’s class of 1992/93.
Insisting his side are nowhere near the level of the great Rangers teams of the past, however, Gerrard says the only unbeaten run he concerns himself with is the Ibrox side remaining top of their Europa League group at the halfway point after games against Villareal, Rapid Vienna and Spartak.
Steven Gerrard has warned his Rangers players that they are not legends of the club just yet
His players are on the cusp of a European record and would beat it if they avoid defeat at home
Addressing the chance to make a small slice of history, Gerrard countered: ‘I wasn’t aware of that stat. It’s news to me, to be honest.
‘Milestones like that are always nice, but it’s not our focus.
‘And listen, we’re not ready to be spoken about in the same breath as successful teams in the past.
‘We are nowhere near ready to be put on a par with teams like that. We cannot be spoken about in the same breath as that. We have a long, long way to go.
‘We are on the back of a nice run in Europe. We need to protect that and try and extend it for as long as possible. But in terms of putting us back alongside teams of ten years ago or 20 years ago then we’re not ready for that yet.’
Since taking charge, Gerrard has found success in the Europa League both home and away
A thrilling draw away at Villarreal was followed up by an impressive win over Rapid Vienna
A 2-2 draw against Villarreal was followed by a stirring, high octane 3-1 home win over Rapid Vienna.
Urging a sell-out Ibrox to add to the flux of managerless Spartak after Italian Massimi Carrera was fired on Monday, Gerrard admitted: ‘I wouldn’t be standing here now as a Champions League winner without the atmosphere at Anfield – there’s no doubt about it.
‘And another thing is that I wouldn’t be standing here doing this press conference if it wasn’t for the Ibrox crowd because they have certainly helped to get us where we are and if we have any ambitions of getting us out this group we need these fans to keep pushing us.
‘I was happy with every aspect of our last performance against Rapid.
‘That’s the type of performance I am looking for. We managed to get in front and we scored late on. We did so much work in the first half, matching their aggression and grinding them down. We got our rewards late on. Of course, the atmosphere was excellent.
Gerrard has warned against complacency as he reiterates his ambition to reach the knockouts
Last time at Ibrox in Europe, Gerrard’s side produced a stirring 3-1 win against Rapid Vienna
‘All the talk afterwards was it was like the atmosphere of old. I don’t think Ibrox had been like that for a long time.
‘I’d love nothing more than to see that atmosphere again tomorrow night, it’s a big lift for the players. It drives the team on. I felt it as a player myself, I know how much it pushes you on. We have to ignite it all though with our performance.’
Midfielder Scott Arfield is out of Thursday’s game, with Graham Dorrans also missing after seeing a surgeon for a diagnosis on his latest injury set-back.
Challenging his players to move to seven points from three games before travelling to Moscow in two weeks’ time, Gerrard added: ‘This Spartak team in the next few weeks will improve.
‘They will have more confidence with getting a fresh start as a new manager, so we need to try and jump on them now when maybe they are not ready and set when they probably only had 48 hours to prepare for us.
‘We are underdogs on paper, but in our dressing room, we will go in with confidence and belief.’
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