Former Celtic attacker Kris Commons reckons Rangers manager Steven Gerrard should use his sides Europa League adventure as a way of gaining key experience that can improve his side over the coming seasons.
Rangers will play their first game in Europe since 2011 on Thursday night when they travel to Spain to face Villarreal.
The Ibrox outfit have been drawn in Group G which will also see them come up against Rapid Vienna and Spartak Moscow.
”Rangers travel to play Villarreal with less of an expectation on their shoulders. This is all about a learning experience for Steven Gerrard’s side,” Commons writes in the Daily Mail.
”It’s important that Rangers just do as well as they can in a difficult environment. In the same way as Dundee were embarrassed at Ibrox, the main thing Rangers need to avoid in Spain is the same thing happening to them.
”Firstly, they have to compete. If they do that, they’ll give themselves a chance.
”But this is more about discovering different mentalities and other approaches to playing football.
”I don’t think anyone would have believed Rangers would be playing in the group stage 12 months ago, so this is already a bonus.
”But you don’t want to come away having been hit for five or six either.
”At Ibrox, they have a chance against anyone as they have an attacking, aggressive style of play and they have centre-halves who are getting better.
”I heard some of their players saying they were always in the game at Celtic Park but the reality is they got taught a football lesson. This will be a similar test.
”If Santi Cazorla plays they’ll be up against an incredible talent. One they can learn from.
”Gerrard will naturally hope his side can make it to the last 32 but primarily all experiences in Europe this season are about making them a better team for the next 12 months.”