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This Rangers team has me wishing I was 30 years younger and my dream Euro scenario is playing out- Jorg Albertz – Graeme Young


Is this a Rangers team capable of becoming Europa League champions?

I’ll be completely honest, with the road to Seville and a final in May now just four games away, it’s a genuine possibility.

Braga in the last eight with either Red Bull Leipzig or Atalanta awaiting if Rangers get through? Why not?

We are all allowed to dream now the picture is clearer.

Any side that can go to Borussia Dortmund and score four are capable of beating anyone.

There’s a sharpness about my old club that is carrying them through this competition and a belief they can score goals, especially away from home.

My ideal scenario was for the away leg against Braga to be first and that has been realised. Everything will be on the line at a packed Ibrox in the return leg and it edges it in our favour.

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The Dortmund game was an example of getting the job done in the away leg then making the opposition run the gauntlet in Glasgow with an incredible atmosphere behind the home side.

That’s the formula, a belief that Rangers can beat anyone on their day.

It’s a chemistry that has the players being lifted by the crowd. The list of European clubs that have failed to cope now includes Red Star Belgrade.

And Braga lost at Ibrox two years ago.

The big fear was that Red Star would score an early goal on Thursday.

Right on cue, that’s what happened after 10 minutes – but there was no panic.

We knew there would be a period of sustained first-half pressure but the key man, once again, was Allan McGregor.

Apologies for sounding like a broken record but the brilliance of the keeper, time and again in Europe is the main reason Gers are marching on further than at any stage since 2008 and Manchester.

Greegsy kept Rangers in the game. A catalogue of stunning saves prevented Red Star from getting close to rescuing their situation after going down 3-0 at Ibrox in the first-leg.

If you analyse the two games, the biggest moment was Allan’s penalty save in Glasgow – it was huge.

He’s playing as well as he ever has in his career. It’s amazing to see that kind of agility from a 40-year-old and who knows, maybe he’ll still be doing it at 50? Red Star should have scored more – they looked sharp and capable.

But you need to get the ball past a keeper who rarely looked like being beaten.

There’s a familiar pattern forming for Rangers as this Europa League campaign reaches a stage where dreams of going the distance now become a clear and present possibility.

McGregor’s ability to make the huge saves at the right time and the outfield players being clinical on the break away from home have proved crucial.

How many times have we seen Rangers score with a hit and run like Ryan Kent did on Thursday night?

When you see McGregor pulling off save after save then Kent racing up the park to punish the opposition, it’s like watching a team on repeat after repeat in this competition.

It may have required a bit of luck with his finish but who cares? As soon as the equaliser went in, everybody knew the situation was a good one.

Playing in an atmosphere like the one in Belgrade is never easy but what Gio van Bronckhorst and his players delivered was a superb team performance. They delivered as a group, another tremendous night for the club. As a team everyone is working their socks off for one another.

These are big results for Gio. Look back at when he first arrived and Rangers were knocked out of the League Cup at
Hampden by Hibs.

It was no reflection on him but it was a depressing start to his return –yet he has turned it around quickly.



The Rangers players celebrate after reaching the Europa League quarter final

Gio has been questioned in the last few months but keeps coming up with the answers. He’s proving that he knows exactly what he’s doing.

The Dortmund win at home was huge for him as I saw how he set things up and changed the system to thwart the opposition.

It was a night when he proved without a doubt that he knows exactly what he’s doing.

It’s not just about tactics and shape, it’s also about guiding the side and he’s doing that superbly in a calm and clever way.

Now after the high of Europe it’s back down to earth and Dundee today must be the full focus. On paper we shouldn’t have to talk about this game being a problem, with the Dens side struggling.

But I’ve played in these fixtures and it won’t be easy to flick the switch to get the same motivation and concentration that we saw in Belgrade.

That’s the difficult part for Gio – to get that into the team. It’s all mental and in the head now for Rangers.

If they want that Premiership title then they need those three points. No disrespect but Dundee is a bit different to running out against Dortmund or Red Star Belgrade.

It’s a different motivation but it shouldn’t be. And if it isn’t there then Rangers could slip up against Dundee.

If you ask any former Rangers player about the challenges ahead for the club they’ll tell you they’d love to be a part of it. If only I was 30 years younger, the Hammer would love to play his part.

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