JERMAIN DEFOE hopes Rangers and Scottish football can continue to reap the rewards of their exposure to European action this term.

Steven Gerrard's side booked their place in the third qualifying round of the Europa League with a 5-0 win over Lincoln Red Imps on Thursday.

On the same night, Aberdeen were 2-0 winners against Viking and Motherwell saw off Coleraine on penalties as they also joined Celtic in the next stage of the competition.

Rangers have recorded two successive group stage appearances under Gerrard's guidance and striker Defoe reckons the continental action can only be a good thing at Ibrox and further afield.

He said: "It will be massive. Because obviously it was so important last season, for many reasons.

"I think how we performed in Europe last season brings massive confidence into the group, knowing that we can compete at that sort of level.

"We enjoyed it last year and it’s something we’re really looking forward to, of course.

"It’s amazing, to be honest [to have four Scottish teams in Europe]. And that’s what Scottish football needs.

"When you’re in Europe and you progress, you play against some of the top teams, top coaches and top players.

"That can only be good for Scottish football because obviously there are more people watching.

"And it’s something we really enjoyed. It gives you massive confidence.

"This squad is strong, full of international players, a good mix of senior and young players.

"We’ll be looking to do the same again in Europe, to be honest. We’ll be looking to have a good run in Europe – and you never know what you can achieve."