Steven Gerrard: Rangers have 'unbelievable opportunity' in Europa League

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard congratulates Allan McGregor
Steven Gerrard praised Allan McGregor for "two world-class saves"

Steven Gerrard says Rangers still have "an unbelievable opportunity" in the Europa League after a draw with Villarreal that "feels like a win".

Rangers held on for 0-0 draw at Ibrox despite playing 45 minutes with 10 men after Daniel Candeias' red card.

And the Glasgow side need to win away to Rapid Vienna in their final Group G game to progress to the last 32.

"If we defend like we did tonight, I've got confidence we can go and hurt them," Gerrard told BT Sport.

"We now go to Vienna with the chance of making the group stages and I'd have taken that when Shkupi came here at the start of the journey," he said of his side's first qualifier in the competition.

Gerrard praised goalkeeper Allan McGregor for "two world-class saves" but thought his defence was "excellent to a man".

He was particularly pleased with how they reacted to the hotly disputed the second yellow card shown to winger Candeias for a foul on Santiago Caseres shortly before half time.

The manager said he himself did not have a full view of the incident and would have to look at replays before deciding whether to appeal against the decision.

"He feels hard done by," Gerrard said. "There might be a mistaken identity.

"Daniel has a lot of friends in that dressing room. Every single one of them rolled their sleeves up and dug in against a fantastic team, a team full of top, top players after he was sent off.

"It was a heroic night. I'm very proud of my players. We had some good moments even with 10 men and could actually have stolen it, although we didn't deserve to win on the balance to play."

Meanwhile, Gerrard insisted that his decision to drop on-loan Liverpool midfielder Ovie Ejaria to the bench had been "tactical" rather than punishment for being "late a couple of days ago".


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