Steven Gerrard wants Rangers to learn from Celtic's Uefa Champions League experience
Manager warns about opposition's drive as he prepares his side for Europa League group stage qualification
Steven Gerrard says Celtic's Uefa Champions League exit should be a warning to his Glasgow Rangers squad.
Celtic crashed out at Parkhead after suffering a shock 4-3 defeat to Romanian champions Cluj, who scored two late goals to win 5-4 on aggregate following a tense game in Glasgow.
The Hoops could have looked forward to a financial boost of around £30 million (Dh133m) just for qualifying for the Champions League group stages had they clung on to the lead they held 10 minutes from time, and beaten Slavia Prague in the final qualifying round. Instead, they must now win a play-off just to reach the Europa League group stages for the consolation prize of less than a third of that bounty.
The Rangers have their own Europa League ambitions to focus on, and they will now look complete the job against FC Midtjylland and move a step closer to the group stages after last week's 4-2 win in Denmark. And Gerrard wants his men to take note of Celtic's fate and take appropriate action.
"What it shows last night is that European ties are never over, even when you get a positive result in the first leg," he said. "Some of these teams that people don't know much about – Cluj from Romania for example or Midtjylland from Denmark – they carry a huge threat.
"They are so desperate for financial reasons to progress, like most of us, so my players need to take note of last night and make sure we deal with our second leg much better."
Celtic's early exit from Uefa's main competition has damaged hopes of Scotland's European representatives being able to enter at later date.
All four Scottish sides were forced to kick off at the first qualifying round this season, and Gerrard said: "It's certainly going to be detrimental because all the Scottish teams need to do as well we can to improve the coefficient and give ourselves an advantage in these European competitions.
"From that aspect it's very disappointing. But for me, I'm the manager of Glasgow Rangers and my focus is on the challenges that face us."
Updated: August 14, 2019 06:43 PM