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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 1, 2006

Le Guen insists Rangers are ready for Europe

Paul Le Guen insists Rangers are ready to shrug off the malaise which threatens to destroy their domestic season and take a step closer to European glory.

The Light Blues welcome Maccabi Haifa to Ibrox tomorrow knowing a victory would take them to within touching distance of the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup.

Confidence took another battering at the weekend when a 1-1 draw with Motherwell in the Bank of Scotland Premier League left Gers 12 points off the pace in the title race.

But Le Guen believes the fine 3-2 win over Livorno in their last UEFA Cup match is proof he has a decent squad.

And the Gers boss has urged his players to focus on the match in Italy as they prepare to take on the Israeli team.

Le Guen said: 'The squad was disappointed with Saturday's result but we are hopeful.

'We know that it will be a tough game against a very good team.

'But our good start in the competition is good for us and good for our state of mind.

'It is a good competition and our aim is to go as far as possible. We will see.

'I think our game against Livorno can help us to be more confident.

'We know we must win at least one more game and we have a good opportunity tomorrow evening, even though we know they are a good team.

'I have looked at the statistics and know that, if we win this game, we will have almost qualified, but there is hard work to do.'

With a CV which includes spells at Rennes and Lyon - where he won three French titles - perhaps it is no surprise Le Guen is enjoying more success in Europe.

But he is well aware results in the SPL is what he will ultimately be judged on.

Le Guen added: 'We are trying to be better in the championship too.

'I know that we must get the best results possible in the championship. It is our priority.

'I know we must improve our way of playing in those games.'

For now, Le Guen is focusing on a Maccabi side who have carved out some impressive results in Europe so far this season.

They narrowly lost out on a place in the Champions League to Liverpool, before defeating Group A favourites Auxerre in their opening UEFA Cup game.

Le Guen said: 'I saw the game against Liverpool and I am aware that they were a good team. It will be a tough game.

'They had a very good game against Auxerre, they won 3-1, and we showed part of the game to our players for them to have an idea of our opponents.'