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Barry Ferguson chucks it in the Champions League as he tells Gio to go for 9-in-a-row

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Barry Ferguson has already thrown in the towel on the Champions League.

At the end of August there was plenty of high-fiving as PSV Eindhoven were beaten to secure a place in the group stage of the elite UEFA competition. Apparently the Ibrox lot were back where they belonged.

A 4-0 hammering from Celtic went some way to deflating that bubble, when Ajax and Napoli did the same supporters suddenly realised that the Champions League is entirely different to what they had got used to in the Europa League.

Liverpool away then at home is next up for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side but faced with a Celtic side that went 364 days unbeaten in the SPFL Ferguson told Daily Record readers that the Champions League has to be written off. The white flag has been hoisted:

There’re eight league games and a League Cup quarter-final to play before the domestic game shuts down again for the World Cup. And the target for Rangers is crystal clear – they have to win every single one of them. No ifs. No buts.

Of course, they also have four Champions League games to deal with over this period so it’s going to be a demanding stretch. But, as much as those big European nights are brilliant to be involved in, it’s time for these players to prioritise on the bread and butter.

Look, Rangers aren’t going to win the Champions League. We all know they’ll have their work cut out just to take third place in the group and drop into the Europa League, and I’m sure that’s a target they’ll have set themselves.

But the bottom line is it’s what happens right here on their own doorstep that’s going to make or break their season. That’s why they should be aiming to rack up their very own nine in a row between now and November 12, when they complete this block of matches away at St Mirren.

That’s where Celtic slipped up last time out and the points they dropped unexpectedly in Paisley should have fired Rangers up for what lies ahead. That result should have shown them that Ange Postecoglou’s players are only human after all.

Celtic’s defeat at St Mirren was the best domestic result of the season for the Ibrox men. A look at goal difference of 22 v 8 highlights as much as any points difference the gulf between the two Glasgow sides with Ange Postecoglou’s side looking to recapture their pre Paisley form when they take on Motherwell tomorrow.

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