Gers keen to play on all fronts

25 February 2011 12:11
Rangers' Lisbon goal hero Maurice Edu hopes the spirit shown by the Ibrox side in the Europa League dispels the notion they are focusing on the league."We are involved in a lot of competitions and we want to go as far as we can in all of them," said Edu, whose goal won the tie on away goals. [LNB]"The performance we put on shows that and it defines what we are as a club. [LNB]"We showed a lot of resilience and desire to fight our way back into that game and get something out of it." [LNB]After a 1-1 draw in the home leg in Glasgow, Walter Smith's side were heading out of the competition to Sporting Lisbon, trailing 2-1 as the match moved into the second minute of injury time. [LNB]But a smart move involving defender Ricky Foster and substitute striker David Healy set up Edu at the back post to stab the ball home and send Rangers through on the away goals rule. [LNB]El Hadji Diouf had given the Scots their first away goal of the night after 20 minutes with a well-placed header, but that advantage was cancelled by former Rangers midfielder Pedro Mendes, who curled a beautiful shot past goalkeeper Allan McGregor.[LNB] I don't think you can pick and choose where you are successful Rangers keeper Allan McGregor And the Portuguese looked to be heading through when Yannick Djalo headed the home side ahead with eight minutes remaining. [LNB]"We were always in the game," said a delighted Edu, who partnered Steven Whittaker in central midfielder at the start of the match. [LNB]"The second goal we gave away was a bit unfortunate. We never stopped believing in ourselves and it showed. [LNB]"We fought to the dying minutes and we were able to get a goal that took us through. [LNB]"I had my eye on the ball and I was just trying to get myself in a good position. Fortunately for me I was able to tap it in." [LNB]Rangers are now through to the last 16 of the Europa League. [LNB]This extended run, coupled with postponed Scottish Premier League matches and involvement still in both domestic cups, means their fixture schedule is reminiscent of their hectic period in 2008 when they were competing in four tournaments deep into the season. [LNB]For Edu, though, had they been eliminated at the last-32 stage, there would have been no sense of relief that the team could focus on contesting the domestic treble.[LNB]Diouf gave Rangers the lead in Lisbon on a night of Europa League dramaHe told BBC Scotland: "We would have been disappointed. [LNB]"A lot of people have been saying this competition isn't important to us, because we want to focus on other things, but I think tonight we showed that it is important to us. [LNB]"We would rather have games coming and have an opportunity to win things. [LNB]"If you were to ask any footballer, you would want to be involved in as many games as possible and put yourself in a position where you can win things and have something to show for it at the end of the season." [LNB]Looking ahead to the matches against PSV Eindhoven, the player added: "There will be no easy games. We welcome the challenge. We know it's going to be an exciting draw and we are looking forward to it." [LNB]For McGregor, the fixture congestion is a sign that things are going well for the team. [LNB]"As the gaffer says, we would rather be playing the games and be involved in competition than when he first came and we were out of everything," said the Scotland keeper. [LNB]"I prefer it like this - I don't do the running about like the boys do right enough. [LNB]"There isn't the biggest squad in the world so everybody will play their part this season. [LNB]"I don't think you can pick and choose where you are successful. At this club and at Celtic, you have to go out and try to win every game and that's what we are doing. [LNB]"We'll just take each game as it comes and go from there."

Source: BBC_Sport