Foster: Rangers should fear no one in Europe
Published 14/12/2010 | 16:37
Richard Foster claims Rangers need not fear Manchester City or Liverpool if they are drawn against either of the Barclays Premier League giants in Friday's Europa League last-32 draw.
The Ibrox club dropped down from the Champions League after finishing third in Group C with six points behind Manchester United and Valencia.
However, the 25-year-old full-back, on loan from Aberdeen until the end of the season, believes the performances against Valencia and United at Ibrox, where they drew 1-1 with the Spanish club and lost only to a Wayne Rooney penalty against the Red Devils, will stand the Scottish champions in good stead regardless of who they face in UEFA's second-tier club competition.
"We have shown in the Champions League that we can compete with anyone really," Foster said.
"Obviously there are teams that are very dangerous in the Europa League but I don't think we would fear anyone and getting one of those two sides would make for a great atmosphere both at Ibrox and down in England.
"I don't think there is any point in us being in the competition if we are not confident.
"I think we showed, especially at home against Valencia - and we were unlucky against Man United - that we can compete against these top, top teams.
"So there is no reason we couldn't do the same against Manchester City or Liverpool."
The Europa League will go on the back-burner until it resumes in February.
In the meantime, Rangers and the rest of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clubs will meet next Monday to discuss radical reform proposals which include a two-tier SPL, with 10 teams in each division, a winter break and a return of the play-offs.
Foster believes an increase in the size of the SPL would be preferable to the 10-team proposal which would see clubs still meeting each other four times per season.
"It sometimes can get a bit tedious, especially when you have cup competitions as well," he said.
"It would be a bit different to bring in more teams and have a bit of variety.
"But it's not a decision to get involved in or even think about.
"If I have to play a team four, six, or however many times, it is something I have to get on with."
On the issue of play-offs, Foster was more enthusiastic, saying: "I think the play-offs would make it more exciting.
"The way the league splits into two at the moment, the teams that finish seventh and eighth are relatively safe after the first couple of games (after the split) and maybe they have nothing to play for.
"But if you bring in the play-offs, it keeps the league exciting at both ends, right to the end."
The idea of a winter break, which has come to the fore yet again in the midst of the current adverse weather conditions in Scotland, also found favour with the former winger but he flagged up what many believe to be a fatal flaw.
"When would you have it?" he asked.
"You have it now and it snows again in January - you have it in January and it snows in November.
"The only way round that would be to completely change it and have summer football because the weather in Scotland is so incredibly changeable just now."