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Kevin Thomson: Rangers will be competitive in Europa League

Thomson said Rangers aren't in the Europa League just "to make up the numbers".

Thomson is now an academy coach at Rangers.
Thomson is now an academy coach at Rangers. SNS

Kevin Thomson says Rangers aren't in the Europa League just "to make up the numbers" and believes they can progress from the group stages of the competition.

The ex-Light Blues midfielder, now an academy coach at the club, believes manager Steven Gerrard will have aspirations of going far in the tournament having been drawn in a group alongside Spartak Moscow, Rapid Vienna and Villarreal.

Thomson, who reached the UEFA Cup final with the Ibrox side in 2008, said being back in Europe is great for the club and said the players will aim to win every tournament they compete in.

He said: "I certainly think that now they've qualified, there's some good ties to look forward to and they aren't just there to make the numbers up.

"This club for me, no matter what competition they're in they'll want to try and win and progress as much as far as they possibly can.

"I'm pretty sure the new manager would have that same mindset.

"He'll want the players to believe they can win as many games as possible.

"I don't think they'll be setting targets but they'll be in it to try and win it.

"A successful run is winning as many games as possible, the fact they've qualified means there is a buzz around the place again.

"European nights at Ibrox are as good as anything. The manager will want to achieve as much as he possibly can.

Thomson said he has been impressed with Gerrard's recruitment, identifying Lassana Coulibally as a "star", and said the return of his former teammates Allan McGregor and Kyle Lafferty are a big boost to the club.

He added: "I think Allan speaks for himself, he's easily the best goalkeeper I ever played with.

"I played with some good ones but Allan is right at the top of the tree. I think he's a winner, he knows what it takes to succeed at this club.

"As for Lafferty, he's a good friend of mine, he's a good lad.

"He'll add goals, he had a good season at Hearts last season albeit in a pretty ordinary team. If he can come here and fire on all cylinders it ill be good for the team."

"Coulibally looks a real star, the manager will be disappointed he's lost him through fitness but if he can keep him fit, it bodes well for engine room.

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