By Joe Ellis

3rd Aug, 2022 | 1:10pm

Rangers warned of 'danger' as Champions League hopes hang by thread

After the first leg of their Champions League qualifier against Union Saint Gilloise, Rangers have work to do when they return to Ibrox.

A 2-0 defeat in Belgium was not what Giovanni van Bronckhorst had written down on his script as the Belgian runners-up, in their first European game, bullied a sluggish Light Blues side.

Keith Jackson has now warned the Dutchman and his players that there is serious danger that they could get knocked out in a round where they should be winning no problem.

These Union players, let’s not forget, were a side that had never played a Euro tie before,” Jackson said in his Daily Record column. Rangers, on the other hand, just looked like one.

“But it was the Belgians who took a 2-0 lead into the second leg largely because they came up against a Rangers side – and manager for that matter – who forgot how they are supposed to function in a quite mind-boggling manner.

“Of course, there is time to repair the damage. But don’t take that for granted either after the lesson from history dished out this time last summer by Malmo.

“Once again, there is a danger of this team being swept out of the Champions League along with all the rest of the Euro trash which is tossed to one side to clear the stage for the serious business to begin.

“And let’s be in no doubt either. Rangers and Giovanni van Bronckhorst got exactly what they deserved last night.”

Fightback

If there was anything to be learned from the run to the Europa League final last season, it is that Rangers never know when they are beaten.

When Saint Gilloise turn up to Glasgow next week they will be in for a raucous night which will massively test their metal on the big stage.

The 2021-22 campaign proved that even some of Europe’s biggest teams such as Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig couldn’t handle the cauldron that Rangers produced.

It would be no shame on the Belgiansif they crumbled under that same pressure but Rangers equally have to turn up on the night and not perform to a similar level they did on Tuesday.

The manager has to make some big changes ahead of the return leg because it was clear that the system and players that were used did not work and effectively played into Saint Gilloise’s hands and if there is any hope of progressing in the Champions League, it has to be eradicated.

In other Rangers news, Heart and Hand were equally disgusted at the game on Tuesday despite what they describe as a “digrace” of a penalty decision.