Glasgow Rangers are delighted with the Europa League group draw. The Ibrox side will play home and away games against Villarreal, Rapid Vienna and Spartak Moscow.
Gerrard wanted his Rangers side to face “established” teams in Europe, and he certainly got his wish.
Only one of four teams reached the group stages having played from the first qualifying rounds. Unfortunately, the Ibrox club were up against another referee who was card happy.
Rangers finished the game against Ufa with only nine men to secure a 1-1 draw. Gerrard felt his side deserved their place in the last 48 of the Europa group stages.
“Thinking about it before the draw I was hoping the players would be drawn against teams with a name and stature,” he said.
“They can go and rub shoulders with top players and play in nice stadium and really enjoy the experience.
“Having said that we want to go and compete – this is not just about getting Europa League experience.
“We know that’s vital for the players individually but for me we have to go and test ourselves against the best.
“It’s fantastic for the supporters in terms of the locations they will be able to travel to support the team.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better draw – three established teams with a lot of experience.
Rangers kick off their group campaign against Villarreal in Spain on Thursday, 20 September and round off the group stage in December in Vienna.
The full Europa group stage fixture list.
Thursday 20 September – Villarreal v Rangers (A)
Thursday 4 October – Rangers v Rapid Vienna (H)
Thursday 25 October – Rangers v Spartak Moscow (H)
Thursday 8 November – Spartak Moscow v Rangers (A)
Thursday 29 November Rangers v Villarreal (H)
Thursday 13 December – Rapid Vienna v Rangers (A)
This will be an exciting time for the players, management team and the Rangers fans.