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Coisty says the pressure is off on Thursday


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Pressure is off Rangers - McCoist


Venue: Jose Alvelade Stadium Date: Thursday, 10 April Kick-off: 1945 BST

Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Scotland & BBC Radio 5 Live

Assistant boss Ally McCoist believes that the pressure is off Rangers going into the second leg of their Uefa Cup quarter-final with Sporting Lisbon.

"We are at the business end of the season now, but there is no more expectation on us for this competition," he said.

"We are just enjoying the ride in all competitions now.

"I think it will be a tight game. Looking at their team, there is not a lot between the two sides."

Interview: Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist

Rangers were held to a goalless draw in the first leg at Ibrox.

The Glasgow side looked slightly jaded in that game and in drawing with Dundee United on Sunday.

But, with reigning champions Celtic having lost to Motherwell the previous day, Rangers still managed to extend their lead in the Scottish Premier League.

And McCoist believes that the seven-point gap with a game in hand should allow them to relax as they attempt to reach their first European semi-final in 36 years.

"There is probably not a lot between all eight teams left in the competition," he said.

"Hopefully we can get the all-important away goal."

Midfielder Brahim Hemdani hopes for at least a repeat of the score draw Rangers achieved on their last visit to Portugal, against Porto in November 2005.

"I remember this game very well because it was very important for us to get a good result," he said of the Champions League tie.

"They had a lot of quality players such as Diego, who we played against in Bremen, and Quaresma.

"On the night, they played a lot of attractive football and we had our backs against the wall for long periods, although we defended well.

"They then scored after an hour through Lopez but could not get another, which gave us hope.

"With 10 minutes left, we kept pushing forward and Ross McCormack managed to find the net.

"In many ways we can perhaps expect the same kind of game''


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