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Rangers boss believes Legia tie will 'go down to the wire'

Steven Gerrard backed his side to continue their strong form in the Europa League play-off.

Steven Gerrard has backed his Rangers players to deliver under pressure against Legia Warsaw but warned that the Europa League play-off could go right down to the wire.

The Ibrox side are just two matches away from reaching the group stages for the second season in a row but have to get past the Polish side with the first leg being played in Warsaw on Thursday night.

The Rangers players will be competing in what's expected to be a noisy crowd in the Polish Army Stadium, and face a step up in quality from their previous opposition in the qualifiers but the manager says they can come through a tough test.

"I have big belief and I back my players to deliver," he said. "My experience of this team is that when the challenge gets tough, they stand up.

"I think the hostility here in Legia will bring the best out of my team and I have every confidence we will get the result we need.

"In the main, from my experience the Polish fans get behind their teams and create a terrific environment to play in.

"But my players should really enjoy that and embrace the hostility, put their shoulders back and put in a performance that our own supporters can be proud of.

"However, I don't think this tie will be decided in one leg, it will go to the wire. This will be a tough test and they will be two close encounters. We have two good teams fighting for the same prize."

Gerrard also played down the significance of a squad change that saw Filip Helander restored to the Europa League list with Brandon Barker dropping out. Two changes are permitted up to 24 hours before the first leg of the tie.

The Swede, who joined from Bologna this summer, was one of Gerrard's landmark recent signings but Gerrard said there was nothing to be drawn from his initial omission or his late inclusion.

"The rules in this competition are that you get up to 24 hours before the game to confirm your squad anyway," he said. "For some reason there's a big rush to get 22 names over [after qualifying].

"So after we beat Midtjylland you have to get a squad of 22 players over straight away. I don't know why.

"I wouldn't read too much into who is on that list, people should be more concerned about the final squad, because that has to be picked 24 hours before the game.

"I didn't confirm my squad until this morning so I wouldn't read too much into it."

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