In our haste to highlight all was not lost over likely coming second this season in the league, we overlooked that second place doesn’t earn the playoff round in the CL.
It earns the second round only.
We mentioned that because we can beat the elite sides like Dortmund and Red Star, the CL playoffs didn’t present the same obstacle they did last season when we capitulated at the hands of Malmo, having been dumped out the previous season in the last 16 by Leverkusen.
This is a different Rangers animal now.
But the clarification doesn’t change much. Yes, we’ll have 3 rounds to go through rather than just the playoffs or the Promised Land of the group stage itself, but those are 3 rounds we’re capable of negotiating.
If we can beat Dortmund in the UEL playoffs then Red Star in the last 16, we are capable of overcoming the majority of sides we’ll face in those three rounds.
But it does need financial muscle and an injection into the squad of some marquee new players.
We have a manager capable of trumping the elite Euro sides, we have a lot of trust in Gio at this level – and it’s why even though we’ll enter the second round of qualifiers, we still believe we can get to the group stage.
But… onto Braga first.