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Rangers boss 'disappointed' by Celtic's defeat to CFR Cluj

Steven Gerrard says the result is a warning to his side ahead of their tie.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has said Celtic's Champions League exit comes as a disappointment with every Scottish team needing success to raise the country's UEFA co-efficient.

Celtic lost 4-3 to the Romanian side at home on Tuesday night, ending their hopes of reaching the group stages.

With Scotland currently ranked 20th in UEFA's ranking system, the nation's representatives face gruelling qualification campaigns to reach the elite stages, a situation that will only be changed with positive results and a rise in co-efficient points.

Gerrard said from that perspective, he hadn't been happy to see Rangers' rivals suffer a shock.

He said: "It's certainly going to be detrimental because all the Scottish teams need to do as well as we can to improve the coefficient and give ourselves an advantage in these European competitions.

"From that aspect (Celtic's defeat) is very disappointing.

"But for me, I'm the manager of Glasgow Rangers and my focus is on and the challenges that face us."

The immediate challenge for Gerrard is to ensure safe passage to join Celtic in the Europa League play-off round. With a 4-2 lead over Midtjylland from the first leg in Denmark, Rangers are favourites to progress but Gerrard said CFR Cluj had underlined the importance of being wary.

"What last night shows is that European ties are never over, even when you get a positive result in the first leg," he said.

"Some of these teams that people don't know much about - Cluj from Romania, for example, or Midtjylland from Denmark - they carry a huge threat.

"They're so desperate for financial reasons to progress, like most of us, so my players need to take note of last night and make sure we deal with our second leg much better."

'Tomorrow is a good test from a mental view. I don't want to see a casual team thinking that because it has a two-goal advantage that the job is done. That won't be the case.'
Steven Gerrard

Rangers are buoyed by that away result and a 6-1 demolition of Hibs on Sunday but Gerrard said the key to a good performance would be treating the game as if it was on a knife edge.

"We have to take a 0-0 mentality," he said. "Everything is to play for and I want to see a hungry performance.

"This team has had so much criticism over the past 14 months about not being consistent and taking the foot off the gas at important times.

"Tomorrow is a good test from a mental view. I don't want to see a casual team thinking that because it has a two-goal advantage that the job is done. That won't be the case.

"I've not had to stress that because Midtjylland deserve respect and the players know that at times last week they caused us problems.

"They carry a huge threat and it would be very immature and naive of us to think that this is done.

"But could we be going in to the game in any better form? No I don't think so. The players are smiling and enjoying their training.

"We've got four or five players who are not happy being outside the squad and that's pushing the lads in the matchday 18. The level of us is exactly where I want it. The challenge is to maintain that.

"There are still improvements to come from this side, for sure. Players are still finding their feet.

"The new players are doing well working their way in but it still takes weeks and months to gel.

"I expect us to keep improving as the season goes along."

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