Rangers manager Steven Gerrard declared his side ready to make amends for their Lyon set-back as they prepare for this week’s crunch Europa League trip to face Sparta Prague.

Gerrard is relishing Thursday night’s eagerly-awaited tie in the Czech Republic when the Light Blues will endeavour to get their group campaign up and running after the disappointment of failing to qualify for the money-spinning Champions League back in the summer.

And the Ibrox gaffer has promised the Light Blues faithful they will be giving everything in their pursuit of qualification to the latter stages.

Gerrard said: “We love playing in Europe.

“It’s the reason why we fought so hard over the years to get to this level.

“It was disappointing that we didn’t qualify for the Champions League against Malmo.

“But we had to move on pretty quickly from that which we did.

“We want to get off the mark and get maximum points. If we can do that, then we’ve recovered out bad start.


“It will be a tough game but the lads will be ready for it. We’re always ready to go somehere in Europe and try and get a result for the fans.”

Meanwhile, Gerrard hailed his rugged Rangers side as they left Dens Park having won ugly to remain top of the Premiership.

He watched his defending champions grind out three points thanks to Joe Aribo’s classy 16th-minute winner which sunk bottom-club Dundee on Tayside.

And Gerrard insisted the manner of victory matters little in their pursuit of another Premiership league title.

Gerrard said: “We knew what type of game to expect coming here.

“I think there’s certain Premiership games coming away from home when you know you’ve got to hussle, grind and fight.

“I thought to a man we were very honest. We tried to defend as well as we could.

“Look, there’s still bones you could pick out of it in and out of possession. We could have killed it towards the end with a bit more quality.

“But we’ve come here for three points and the players showed a lot of hunger. Nobody will remember in time how we got them.

“We’ve also managed to keep players fresh for Thursday night. So there’s a lot of positives to take out of it.”

Gerrard enjoyed Aribo’s first-half winner and the part played by Alfredo Morelos wasn’t lost on the Ibrox gaffer who proceeded to single out summer signing John Lundstram, formerly of Sheffield United, for some special praise.

He said: “It was a fantastic assist from Alfredo. It is something we do work on in terms of patterns.

“We like to do overloads. We scored a very similar goal at Ross County recently.

“So credit to the lads for carrying that out. I just felt towards the end we could have gone and got that second goal.

“If you get it, it helps because there’s so many games in the Premiership where you have to defend long throw-ins and second balls near the end. I’ve said that so many times since coming here.

“So there’s a lot to work on but it’s a big win and we’re one step closer to where we want to be.

“Overall, I thought John was an absolute powerhouse. I’ve been smiling in disbelief at some of the recent reaction from the outside.


“I keep an eye on these things from the inside and outside as well.

“But he was the best player on the park by a mile and has been for our last three games.

“It can take a while to get up to speed coming to a new club but he showed what he was capable of here.”