GARY McAllister still remembers it like it was yesterday. How Ibrox fell silent when his screamer of a volley flew into the top corner, save for the celebrations of selected incognito Leeds United fans. One of them was his dad, who was promptly ejected from the venue.

How Rangers roared back to claim a slender 2-1 lead from the first leg of that second round European Cup clash, before an Andy Goram-inspired counter-attacking effort won the day at Elland Road, eliminating McAllister and Gordon Strachan’s all conquering English champions from the inaugural season of the Champions League.

It is a tie which has gone down for the ages as the Battle of Britain yet the notion of another one between the Ibrox side and either Manchester United or Arsenal when the draw is made for the last 32 of the Europa League on Monday is one which McAllister would rather steer clear of for now.

Not that Arsenal, who have only just climbed into the top ten in the Premier League, or a Manchester United side under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who are only two points better off, are unbeatable. Sheffield United, after all, have already drawn with the latter this season and beaten the former. But let’s just say that being paired with Malmo, who will just be emerging from the Swedish season shutdown when those matches tick round in February, would be somewhat more appealing.

“Listen, the thought of a glamour tie at Ibrox is pretty mouth-watering,” said McAllister. “But it would be nice to avoid.

“There are teams that we look at - and we are not going to name them – that you would prefer them to give you a better chance to go into the next round.

“But whoever we draw, the nights at Ibrox - we have seen this last season and this season - it is an occasion. Whoever we get it will still be the same, the place will be jumping.

“The Scotland-England thing will never change,” he added. “I can still remember the build up to Scotland-England game at Euro 96. The Rangers-Leeds games were two amazing games, even though both sets of away supporters were banned, two amazing games.

“Goram, I still lose sleep about about the fella in the goal that night ... especially at Elland Road,” he added. “The crowd went silent when I scored at Ibrox. Apart from my da getting thrown out!

“There have been some great games over the years. My first memory of them was seeing Billy Bremner score against Celtic at Hampden, an unbelievable goal.”

When McAllister first turned his attentions back to the Scottish game as a pundit for BT Sport, teams like Annan and Ross County were turning up at Ibrox on the club’s journey back to the big time and leaving with three points. Now sides like Porto and Feyenoord are being routinely despatched from Govan. It is quite a change.

“I came up and did a stint with BT and it was just bizarre to see,” said McAllister. “Teams were arriving with a bounce in their step, as if they really fancied themselves. There was a big long list of teams who had come to Ibrox and won domestically.They were an easy target, Rangers, let's be honest about it. They were getting battered from every angle.

“But we have come a long way since then,” he added. “Whether teams think they can come and win or steal a result, now they know they are in a game. We need to keep putting that on the players, make sure we are really tough to play against, no matter who the opposition is. That applies whether it is Manchester United in the Europa League, Stranraer in the Scottish Cup, or domestically in the league.

“Financially we are light years behind all of the English clubs,” he added, “but we would have to take confidence from the way we went to Porto and got a result. Over the two legs, we beat them. We also went to Rotterdam and got a result, beat them [Feyenoord] over two legs. If you had asked them at the start of the group, I am sure the Portuguese and the Dutch clubs would think they could beat a Scottish club. We are going to get who we get. As a group we don't mind. But I think we have sent the message out across Europe that we are a tough opponent.”

As it happens, today also rekindles echoes of McAllister’s past life, a jaunt to Fir Park, the ground where he gained the first stage of his football education.

“I’ve got fond memories of Motherwell,” says McAllister. “Whenever I go back and sit in the stand, I look around and remember that I painted most of those seats! I have a look at that to see how the paint job is standing up.

“It’s my old club and it’s nice to go back. I’ve got great memories there as a young boy but I work at Rangers now and we need to win.

“We’ve gone Aberdeen-cup final-Europe and now it’s back to proper, domestic [action] and we need to win.

“I watched them recently against St Johnstone and they were excellent. There’s a bit of youth, there’s energy.

“But our preparation doesn’t waver. It’s the same for every game and because of the heavy schedule we’re just trying to play and treat each game in isolation. Young Boys is gone now, we move on and focus on Motherwell.”

Like Gerrard, McAllister signed a contract extension on Friday which will take him through to the summer of 2024. While Jurgen Klopp co-incidentally signed one on the same day which lasts the same duration, McAllister knows that Gerrard – a one-club man until he played late on for LA Galaxy – has the loyalty to see things through.

“He’s a loyal man and you can’t underestimate how he feels about the fact that Dave King, the Rangers board and Rangers as a club employed him and gave him his first job after looking after the under-18s at Liverpool,” said McAllister.

“We can feel something special happening, hopefully. We’ve got to keep working hard and you never know what can happen at a club like this.

“I had had a couple of little jaunts into management and was badly burned at a few clubs. I just thought, ‘forget that, I’ll go and try and a bit of work with the media.’

“I thoroughly enjoyed that, but when Steven called to get back … there were very few jobs I would have come back in for. I was very fortunate that this was one of them.”