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Gerrard urges Rangers to 'max out' to get result against Porto

The Rangers boss says game management will be crucial in their Europa League match.

Steven Gerrard believes his Rangers players will have to 'max out' and be at their highest levels of performance and concentration if they are to take points from Porto in their Europa League clash.

Rangers are underdogs going into the match against the top seeds in the group but Gerrard doesn't feel his side have anything to fear in Estádio do Dragão if they bring their best efforts.

"I don't think this is an arena or a fixture where we can come here and perform below par," he said.

"I think if we've got any ambition about taking anything away from this, whether it be a win or a point then we have to 'max out' in and out of possession. We have to find a performance that's close to our best.

"We're well aware of that. I've got belief and confidence in the players that we can find that. I think coming to a place like this: an arena that has the wow factor, a pitch that's perfect and an opposition that the players will have huge respect for, more often than not that is when you can find your performance.

"I'm excited and looking forward to this fixture because I think we can really put in a performance."

A late lapse allowed Young Boys to score the winner in Rangers' last Europa League match and the manager was hopeful that lessons had been learned about not switching off.

"Game management is always important at the top level," he said. "It's important you've got that focus and concentration from start to finish because if anyone loses it at this level then top players will punish you. 

"It is something we speak about on a regular basis and I think the players have hopefully learned from the Young Boys game because the challenge is difficult enough without individual mistakes.

"To be fair to the players, every challenge that's been put in front of them, particularly from a European point of view, they've done ever so well. Nobody gave us a chance last year when we were going to places like Villarreal but we found a performance and we were unlucky not to win that match.

"That's the type of performance we're going to need across the board against opposition like Porto. Hopefully that'll galvanise us and we'll all pull in the right direction tomorrow."

Rangers didn't take up their ticket allocation for the match in Switzerland but will be backed by their supporters against Porto. Gerrard said that support would make a difference to his players but echoed the club's statement that asked fans to behave in the right way.

"I think there's nothing better than when we can hear the Rangers supporters in full voice and right behind the team," he said. "It's incredible support and they've been with us and helped us immensely during my time at the club.

"It's very important that they behave in the right way because we don't want to see further punishments down the line.

"We want Ibrox to be rocking in the two remaining home fixtures, with a full house and not sections missing. 

"We also want our fans to go over to Feyenoord and enjoy that fixture. They have the opportunity tomorrow to make everyone connected to the club proud with their behaviour."

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