Peter Crouch has warned Rangers that they will face a ‘proper’ team in their Europa League round of 16 tie – but says they can still dream of a deep run in the competition.
After thrashing Royal Antwerp 9-5 on aggregate the Light Blues were paired with Czech outfit Slavia Prague in the next stage, avoiding the likes of European heavyweights AC Milan and Manchester United.
But Crouch has told the Gers to take heed of Slavia’s 2-0 win over Leicester City in the previous round before getting carried away.
The former England international was responding to a question on the Daily Mail website as to how far the English clubs can go in Europe, but attention quickly turned to Rangers.
He said: “The Europa League looks more winnable for our [English] teams and I wouldn’t discount Steven Gerrard taking Rangers deep into the competition, either — but, again, don’t get carried away.
“I was very impressed by Slavia Prague, who looked a proper team in beating Leicester. There is quality everywhere.”
Spot on mentality
This is exactly how the Gers should be viewing this fixture – tough but very winnable.
We cannot discount Slavia as amateur opposition given the way they took apart Leicester at the King Power Stadium without conceding to the likes of Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes.
But we are now a top side under Gerrard and should not be fearing anyone.
That’s why Crouch’s comments on our Europa League chances do not even raise much of an eyebrow now – there is a great chance for us to go deep into this competition.
This means beating Slavia to surpass last season’s achievements where we came up short against Bayer Leverkusen in the same round, and a semi-final spot should be the objective now to show just how far we have come.
Crouch is right to raise caution but this game is all about momentum and we must ensure we take the game to Slavia when the fixtures roll around.
Leicester have looked out on their feet in the last two games. We’re still hitting our stride.
In other Rangers news, our view on the 23y/o who could light up Livingston on Wednesday.