By Mark Dingwall
Steven Gerrard – update on Tavernier and Roofe – both around three weeks from coming back. Ryan Jack presents a more positive prospect as there is not much muscle damage. On Alfredo Morelos he declared himself well-impressed as Alfie has improved his link up play and developed tactically.
On Neil Lennon he expressed no pleasure in seeing a fellow manger suffer. In the past he has shares a few battles with him and once the dust settles he hopes they will enjoy a pint together.
When asked about Joe Aribo he said he has become stronger and more powerful – as he improves tactically he can be, at his best, unplayable.
Aribio himself commented on his physical improvement – he accepts he needs to fill out and get a lot more gym work under his belt. Enjoyed having a bit more freedom to roam at Rangers than he had at Charlton.
Frankie Vercauteren, the Royal Antwerp coach said “Task at hand if easy to describe -things on the pitch will be very different so we look forward to the change. Knowing this and the quality of the opponent we showed we can score, but we still have the belief that we can do something – we need a balance between scoring and defending. It is clear we need to score but in football everything is possible. We can only be beaten by a better team.”
“We don’t play against the fans only the team – it’s pity there are no crowds. We have not trained at Ibrox because of the pitch so I am not there to demolish the pitch, that’s why we are here. As a professional we have to understand the demands of the other club.”
Centre-back Moustafa Ava Dongo admitted the match will be a “Very difficult task – to win by at least two goals – but we know what we need to do and I’m hoping for a beautiful game.”
Max Le Marchand said “The task is very easily described – last week did not go according to plan and now we have to score two goals. It’s clear Rangers have a good defensive block – they have only given up nine goals in the league – but last week we scored three so it is possible. With the abscence of Tavernier the opportunities might arrive.’”