Steven Gerrard: Sectarian chants damage Rangers fans' reputation

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard feels sorry for innocent fans who will miss out on Thursday's game

Manager Steven Gerrard has "pleaded" with Rangers fans to "behave in the right manner" after Uefa ruled that part of Ibrox be shut off.

Rangers must close a section of at least 3,000 seats for Thursday's sold-out Europa League tie with Legia Warsaw as punishment for "sectarian chants".

The club issued a statement condemning those responsible.

"I hope it's the last time we have to deal with questions on fan behaviour," said Gerrard.

"We've been here before. We want our fans to go to the games, enjoy it and get behind the team. That's what being a fan is all about.

"We've got one of the best fan bases in the world. They follow us in large numbers home and away and they have got a reputation for being the best supporters in the world.

"So when you hear stuff like this it damages that reputation.

"All I can do is echo what's been said in the statement and plead with fans to behave in the right manner when they come to support the team."

Rangers drew 0-0 in Poland in the first leg of the play-off, with the winners progressing to the group stage.

"I still think the crowd will be important next week," added Gerrard. "It's a small section but it's still not helpful.

"We do still want to send a clear message to our supporters that we're going to need them with us in the second leg. We need the stadium to be rocking and jumping because as you saw last night they are tough opponents."

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