Rangers v Porto: Steven Gerrard says side deserve Europa League praise

Watch: 'Tactically Gerrard got it spot on'
Europa League: Rangers v Porto
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow Date: Thursday, 7 November Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Coverage: Coverage on BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app

Rangers "deserve some praise" for their Europa League exploits this season, says manager Steven Gerrard as his side look to edge closer to the last 32.

Gerrard's men are level with Thursday's opponents Porto, two points off leaders Young Boys, midway through Group G.

Rangers have reached the group stage in both Gerrard's seasons at the helm, going unbeaten in 13 matches at Ibrox.

"The general opinion when this group was made was that we were the least favourite to progress," he said.

"So far we have done ever so well and could easily have been in a better position after the Young Boys away match. If you look at our record in Europe I think we deserve some praise.

"The players are in a good place but we don't want to be a squad that looks back. We want to keep growing and to prove that we are a good team."

Rangers host Porto after a 1-1 draw in Portugal a fortnight ago described by Gerrard as the best European performance since he took charge.

The Ibrox club's two remaining home games are "massive" in their bid to secure knockout-phase European football for the first time since 2011, according to the manager.

And Gerrard is confident his side can cope with the pressure of the run-in.

"I think we realise the importance of the match, a defeat for any team in the group at this stage could be damaging," he said.

"If you win it puts you in a fantastic position with two fixtures to go. Porto coming here, if we can find the same level as the away result we have the chance to get a positive result.

"We don't see it as pressure, we see it as an incredible opportunity to go and put a show on in front of our supporters.

"It is a game we are very much looking forward to, we respect the quality of Porto but they are coming to our place which will be rocking."

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