Smiling Stevie gets serious: Gerrard laughs his way through training before urging Rangers to ‘ignite the crowd’ when Spartak Moscow visit Ibrox
- Steven Gerrard’s Rangers host Spartak Moscow at Ibrox on Thursday night
- They are unbeaten in the group after draw at Villareal and win over Rapid Vienna
- Gerrard and assistant Gary McAllister were in good spirits ahead of the clash
- The duo shared a joke with their fellow coaches before training began
- The Russians have fitness coach Raul Riancho in temporary charge for the game
Steven Gerrard has urged Rangers to ‘play on the front foot’ and blow Spartak Moscow away at Ibrox on Thursday night.
The Rangers boss and his players enjoyed a light-hearted training session ahead of the Europa League clash, but know they need a victory to ensure they remain top of Group G.
Gers beat Rapid Vienna in their last European game and have been one of the surprise packages in this year’s competition, progressing from the first qualifying round all the way to the group stages.
Steven Gerrard and assistant Gary McAllister enjoy training on Wednesday morning
The entire coaching staff could be seen laughing as the players warmed up for the session
The Rangers boss cut a relaxed figure during his pre-match press conference as well
But they were not letting the added expectation affect them ahead of the clash, with Gerrard and his coaching staff enjoying themselves while the players were put through their paces.
Rangers have already played 10 Europa League games, winning one and drawing one of their group stage clashes after an arduous qualifying process.
The former Liverpool and England skipper seems to be enjoying management and said: ‘It’s difficult to predict how the game is going to go but I can say how I’d like it to go.
Rangers players wrapped up warm as they got ready for training on a brisk morning
But they showed no signs of nerves either as they prepared for the clash with Spartak
‘That’s for us to really take the game to the opposition. We need to ignite the crowd like we did in the previous game.
‘We believe that if we play on the front foot, if we are aggressive and take the fans with us then we are a tough team to play against here.’
For the second time in Europe this campaign, Gerrard will come up against a temporary boss in the form of Spartak’s fitness coach Raul Riancho, after Italian boss Massimo Carrera was sacked on Monday.
Gerrard kept a close eye on proceedings as he looks for another impressive European display
And the former England skipper couldn’t resist getting involved with the side
But it was not all smiles and Gerrard’s frustration did show at times during the morning
But he looked pleased with the players’ efforts on the whole ahead of the big game
‘It’s very difficult to predict,’ Gerrard admitted. ‘It’s the same in terms of a change of manager but it’s slightly different because they have promoted from within, whereas with Rapid they brought in a manager from outside.
‘But it doesn’t really affect our preparation or our game-plan.
‘We’re going into the game with confidence and belief but also with respect that we are playing a big team with Champions League experience.’
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