Gordan Petric in Rangers warning as he points to Red Star giant killing that should have them on guard


Gordan Petric has more reason than most to want a Rangers win against Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League.

The Serbian spent three years at Ibrox, playing part in the historic nine-in-a-row achievement, after signing from Dundee United.

And when you throw in the fact he moved to Scotland from Red Star’s fierce rivals Partizan then it’s easy to see why he wants the Scottish Premiership champions to progress.

Petric was even a team-mate of current Light Blues boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst just to add to his desire to see a Rangers win.

The 52-year-old spoke to Record Sport Online from Belgrade where Rangers will travel for the decisive second leg of the last 16 tie next Thursday.

But first up is a meeting in Glasgow this week and Petric gave us the lowdown on the Serbians, who warmed up for the game with a 5-0 rout of bottom side Novo Pazar.

Speaking on the latest edition of the Record Rangers podcast, Petric – who won four major honors at Ibrox – picked out Red Star’s key men, reflected on their famous 1991 European Cup success as he previewed the tie.

And he highlighted their 2-0 home win over Liverpool in the season Jurgen Klopp’s men went on to lift the Champions League as the ultimate warning.

Thoughts on drawing?

I was happy with the draw because it means Rangers will come to my city to play Red Star, even if I am an ex player and fan of Partizan.

It will be a very interesting game because both teams have a chance to go through and it’s probably 50-50 for both teams.

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It was an easy game for them on Sunday but they played Partizan, who are doing really well this season, last week and won 2-0.

That’s the interesting game for Giovanni van Bronckhorst to see the danger for Rangers on Thursday and next week.

We had a winter break so Rangers have an advantage having played so many games and they will be better physically.

The game could be decided on a mistake – that’s how close it will be.

danger men

Definitely the dangerous, and more intelligent, players are Aleksandar Katai and Mirko Ivanic.

They also have two experienced players in Aleksandar Dragovic, a defender who plays for the Austrian national team, and Canadian international goalkeeper Milan Borjan who has already qualified for the World Cup.

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I watched Rangers a lot under Steven Gerrard and Alfredo Morelos is the one who stands out. He could cause Red Star problems.

He is such a strong character but he must keep his discipline and if he can do that then he will cause problems.

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Rangers have more quality in terms of individuals with Red Star just having Katai and Ivanic.

Red Star have experienced players and young players, like Rangers, and I don’t want to repeat myself but whoever makes a stupid mistake could pay the price.

atmosphere

The atmosphere is always good at Ibrox but when they come to Red Star they will find a different kind of support.

The atmosphere in Belgrade isn’t typical in Scotland and that might be unusual to the players.



Red Star fans set of flares
Red Star fans set of flares

I watched Rangers against Celtic and they didn’t have a good game but looked far better against Borussia Dortmund.

Maybe Red Star players are worried after seeing the Dortmund game but 70 per cent of this Red Star beat Liverpool at home in the Champions League so it won’t be easy for Rangers.

It would be good for Rangers to take an advantage to Belgrade. But today in football it’s not important if you play home or away.

The Rangers and Red Star players are professionals who are up for every single situation so it won’t be a problem.

History

I moved to Partizan in 1988 after Yugoslavia won the World Youth Championships. Red Star had a really good team – players like (Robert) Prosinecki, (Dragan) Stojkovic, Dejan Savicevic & Darko Pancev.

Partizan just bought young players and tried to build a team for the future but Red Star won the European Cup it was probably easier than the current Champions League format.

It was a knockout format and when Rangers played against Red Star who played two really good games.

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It’s funny but I played with a lot of the Rangers players involved in that game – like Richard Gough, Ally McCoist, Ian Ferguson and Ian Durrant but Red Star were such a good team.

They’ve played three ties against each other – Rangers won in the 60s, lost in 1991 when Red Star won the European Cup and they played in 2007 under Walter Smith when Rangers won again so it’s 2-1 to Rangers in the head to head .

Rangers might have more experience but in the last couple of years Red Star, like Partizan, have done well in Europe and we will have a team going directly to the Champions League next season.

Partizan will be playing against Feyenoord on Thursday so Serbian teams have experience of the latter stages.

Gio

Giovanni van Bronckhorst arrived with Mr Dick Advocaat along with a couple of players from Holland and you could see from the first training session that they were very intelligent players.

He was also a good person but not just Gio – everyone who arrived that summer were all good players and good guys.

I always think about my time at Rangers and winning the league. I remember we lost home and away against Juventus but the fans were still good with us because we beat Celtic and that helped us forget Europe.

And the fact we were going for nine-in-a-row meant we maybe just pushed for the league and made that the focus.




www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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