‘The stage is set for Rangers’ – Gerrard brushes off Osijek insults

Rangers lead the tie thanks to an Alfredo Morelos goal in Croatia

Rangers lead the tie thanks to an Alfredo Morelos goal in Croatia
Europa League qualifying: Rangers v Osijek (agg 1-0)
Venue: Ibrox Stadium Date: Thursday, 2 August Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text coverage on the BBC Sport website

Steven Gerrard is paying no heed to backbiting from Osijek and is sure Rangers will be too strong for the Croatians at Ibrox on Thursday.

Osijek's Robert Mudrazija claimed his side were "better, stronger, more skilful and better organised" despite losing the first leg 1-0.

Midfielder Mudrazija was also quoted calling Rangers boss Gerrard a "tiny man" after the Europa League qualifier.

"The opposition are very confident," said Gerrard.

"I don't think they have had many positive words to say about us. Do their comments give us extra motivation? Not really. My job is to prepare my team and my players.

"We will always be respectful to opponents, both individually and collectively, here at Rangers. We can't control what comes out of opposition camps."

A close-range header from Alfredo Morelos gave Rangers victory last week but Gerrard wants his team to forget about their first-leg advantage.

"We're confident, we can't wait for the game," he said. "We're looking forward to a special atmosphere.

"The stage is set for us to go and play how we are capable of playing. I made it very clear to the players at the weekend [a 3-0 friendly win over Wigan] what Ibrox wants to see from us in possession and out of possession. The players will know the gameplan and now they need to go and deliver.

"They need to forget what happened in the first leg – this game will be totally different.

"They need to forget about the scoreline and thinking they have an advantage, because they need to go toe-to-toe with this opposition. If we do and play to our level, I'm very confident we'll get the right result."