STEVEN GERRARD insists Rangers are not in Braga simply to hold onto the 3-2 lead they hold from last Thursday’s Ibrox first-leg.
That was a simply incredible night back in Glasgow, as the Light Blues came back from 2-0 down, but now Gerrard’s Gers must refocus here in Northern Portugal – with turning in another strong attacking performance close to the front of the manager’s mind.
Speaking at tonight’s press conference, the manager said: “We want to come here and carry a threat, and we want to try and cause as many problems to Braga as we possibly can.
“In no way are we coming here to hold on and suffer for the majority of the game.
“I think it was quite clear, last week in the first half we had some problems in the first-half down to our shape and, maybe, individuals within our shape doing different things to what we actually wanted to do.
“Once we regrouped and reset that at half-time, and we played as a team with the right structure and organisation, that allowed us to be more of a threat and be more attacking.
“The difference over both halves from an attacking point of view was we took our chances.
“We got a little bit of luck with the third goal, so we expect tomorrow, if we’ve got the right game-plan and we carry it out to the best of our ability then we can cause problems or create chances.
“Then, it is obviously over to individual players to go and execute.”
Going the other way, and Gerrard knows his side also require a strong defensive showing, although he gave credit to Braga for the way in which they netted their two goals at Ibrox last week.
He continued: “Against this level of opposition, if you make individual errors then they will be punished. I don’t think, necessarily, against Braga last week it was individual errors, I think it was more a mixture of us not having the right shape and organisation at the time the goals happened and also, you have to pay respect to the opposition.
“I think the first goal is a wonderful strike in any game of football, and the second goal, there is a bit of real, good play from their behalf.
“Albeit, we have analysed both goals and feel as if we could have done better as a team. But at any level of football, certainly Europa League against opposition like Braga, you need to eradicate individual errors.”
The manager was quizzed on who he sees as the favourites for tomorrow’s tie – and while he refused to be drawn on that, he again called for his team to find their very top level in order to progress to the Last 16.
He added: “I don’t think my opinion on who is favourites tomorrow is very important. What we know is we have a very difficult 90 minutes ahead – a real, big challenge.
“We have a small advantage going into the game, but in no way do we think we are favourites and in no way do we feel we have any reason to be over-confident.
“So we have huge respect for the challenge ahead and we are really looking forward to the game.
“We are playing against a fantastic team who are in real, strong form. Again they won at the weekend, so we need to be ready and we need to try and play as close to our best as we can.”
The manager also updated on team news for tomorrow’s game, with Borna Barisic available for the game after missing the weekend match at St Johnstone.
Gerrard said: “Borna is with us. He came through training yesterday alone and then trained with the group perfectly well today.
“So he is avaialble. The rest of the group have come through the weekend fine.”