CONNOR Goldson said he and Steven Gerrard set themselves the mission to get Rangers to the group stages of the Europa League over the summer.

The centre-half was speaking ahead of the first-leg of the Gers play-off clash with Russian side FC Ufa at Ibrox on Thursday evening. The 25-year-old is part of a Gers defence who have ensured Gerrard’s side are unbeaten so far.

Goldson is confident that if the Light Blues can keep up their current form across the play-off games they will tick off their first aim of the season.

He said: “We were lucky to keep a few clean sheets at the start and I think that gave the whole team a bit of confidence in each other.

“Being a new defensive unit it is good to start with keeping clean sheets and I think that confidence has grown and now I think we are quite settled together.

“I knew I was joining a massive club and the gaffer and I spoke in the summer that we wanted to get this club into Europe, we are one leg away which is a good start.

“We have started well in the league, the Aberdeen result wasn’t what we wanted, we wanted to get three points but to play the majority of the game with ten men I thought that we did well.

“I came here to play football again and I am enjoying myself, games are coming thick and fast and that is what you want as a footballer.

“You want to play football every week and right now we are playing two games a week and it is literally play a game, let’s recover and go again. I am happy.

“We need to make our home ground a fortress; it is the same as any big team. You want people to be intimidated when they come to your home, especially here with the crowd we get and the noise they make.

“If you can thrive off that then it is not going to be nice for anyone to come here and I think we are getting there.

“We are playing at such a high tempo at home that it is hard for teams to come here and match us – we just need to carry on.

“It has been good in the Europa League and we have done well so far in the game we have played.

“We have one more tough tie to play and then hopefully if we do well and play the way we have we can get into the group stages.”

Goldson has been a presence in the new look Gers under Gerrard and wore the captain’s armband from the start against St Mirren in the first home fixture of the league season.

But it is not a role he is trying to take from skipper James Tavernier, his partner on the right side of defence.

He continued: “It was an honour to captain the club, I was proud and I had my family at the game.

“It was nice to be able to captain the team for that game but I think Tav has been brilliant from what I have seen of him this season.

“He deserves to wear the captain’s armband every week, he has been outstanding and I think he has taken his game to a new level.

“When I came here in pre-season I said to him he is a Premier League defender, he just needed to sort out his defending at times!

“But so far he has been brilliant, he has defended unbelievably and the way he attacks, I have never played with a right-back before that can attack like that.

“I don’t see myself as a leader, I just see myself as me, I have always been vocal, especially on the pitch and I think that is needed in a centre-half.

“I have always been that way from a young age, it is just the way I am and if that is what you class as a leader then so be it.

“It is also good to have a keeper behind you that you trust and believe in.

“It is nice for a defender that if you make a mistake or there are shots on goals then you believe in the keeper and Greegsy does that.

“It is just a trust and I trust him that when there are shots you actually think he is going to save them. With the penalty the other day you have confidence that he’ll have a chance of saving it, which he did.”

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