Rangers want to beat Feyenoord in tribute to Fernando Ricksen - Gerrard

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Fernando Ricksen scoring for Rangers

Rangers will try to win Thursday's Europa League match with Feyenoord for former club captain Fernando Ricksen, says Steven Gerrard.

Ricksen died on Wednesday aged 43 after a six-year battle with motor neurone disease.

Rangers boss Gerrard expects an "emotional" night at Ibrox as they open their group-stage campaign.

"We need the support to get right behind the team to try and get that win for Fernando," he said.

"I'm sure the supporters are very sad at this time and we want to do everything we can to get a win and dedicate it to Fernando."

Former Dutch international Ricksen battled bravely against motor neurone disease, which currently has no cure, and also raised over £1m to help fund research through his charity.

On the pitch, he helped Rangers win the domestic cup double in 2002, the treble in 2003 and was captain for a trophy double in 2005.

Gerrard added Ricksen was a "fantastic player who played with his heart on his sleeve".

"I was lucky enough to meet him a couple of times, you could see the fight he was putting up. The tributes will pour in not just for the footballer but for the man."

Rangers midfielder Scott Arfield echoed his manager's tributes, saying: "We have to go out there and put a smile on the face of everyone connected with Rangers."

Fans came to Ibrox to pay tribute to Fernando Ricksen
Fans came to Ibrox to pay tribute to Ricksen, and Gerrard expects an "emotional" night against Feyenoord

'We don't fear anyone'

Feyenoord finished a distant third in the Dutch Eredivisie last term and are managed by the former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam.

It is the second season in a row Gerrard has steered Rangers to the Europa League group stage, having narrowly missed out on qualification for the knockout stages last season.

And the Rangers boss believes maximum points at home is key to getting to the last 32 this time.

"We gave it a great effort last year in the group stage but fell down towards the end," Gerrard said.

"I have more confidence and belief in this group of players, having said that I do feel this group is tougher but we don't fear anyone.

"If we have any ambitions to try and get out the group - and that has to be the target, we are not here to make up the numbers - then we have to aim for maximum points at home."

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