Weir: Rangers have lots of work left to qualify for knockout stages

David Weir believes Rangers have given themselves a real chance of progressing to the last 16 of the Champions League. But the Ibrox captain was also keen to temper expectations by warning the Scottish champions there is still a long way to go in Group C.

Rangers were held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia in Glasgow on Wednesday night after Maurice Edu scored at both ends, a result which sees them sit second in the group behind Manchester United after three games.

Walter Smith's men had enough chances to win the game and fans will now be daring to hope for an extended run in the tournament this year.

Weir said: "There is still all to play for. We would have taken that before the group started, five points from the first three games. We've had some difficult games and we are happy with how it has gone so far but there is still a lot of hard work to do.

"We are not going to get ahead of ourselves. We have had a decent start but there are big games still to come. We have given ourselves a chance but nothing more than that."

Weir refused even to accept that the consolation prize of a Europe League spot is the least Rangers can expect, adding: "Not necessarily. There are twists and turns all the time and we have a bit of work to do."

However, the veteran defender did acknowledge the performance against Valencia was one of the best he has been involved in for Rangers on the European stage.

"It's definitely one of them but we have had a few," he said. "We've had relative success in Europe over the years and we have had a lot of good performances. This game was up there, they are a top team and play in one of the best leagues in the world.

"They have really good players and it was a big ask for us but our lads responded really well. It was finely balanced, once they got the goal at the start of the second half it was all to play for. We probably created the better chances and it would have been nice to get the winner we deserved."

Kenny Miller, Steven Naismith and Richard Foster all spurned glorious chances on the night but Weir does not believe their Spanish visitors underestimated Rangers in any way.

He said: "I don't think so. They have seen us play and you just have to give credit to us. We played well. I don't think any team at this level underestimates anybody. There are no easy games at Champions League level."

Rangers now face their biggest domestic game of the season so far when they travel to Celtic Park on Sunday for the first Old Firm derby of the campaign, with both clubs locked on the same points with a 100 per cent record at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

"It's a quick turnaround but we love these Champions League games and we wouldn't have it any other way," said Weir. "Time will tell how it will go on Sunday. We don't have any choice but to play these games but we are delighted to be in the Champions League and we will find out on Sunday how we respond."

Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster has warned that reconstruction of the competition is unlikely to be completed by the start of next season despite a widespread appetite for change.

The 12 SPL clubs met again to discuss the issue at Hampden on Wednesday with more talks pencilled in for 1 November. The signs are clubs are veering towards a 14-team league which retains the split but removes the fixture anomalies and inequalities. But no vote was taken and the debate over the size of the top flight and the fixture calendar continues.

The situation is complicated by the fact that former Scottish First Minister Henry McLeish is due to deliver the second part of his report into the game before the end of the year, this time focusing on the professional game after previously exploring the grassroots scene.

Doncaster has been keen to consult with the other governing bodies and admits there is little prospect of change being implemented next season. He told BBC Scotland: "I think it would be ambitious. I am always hopeful that we can achieve things as soon as possible, but there is an awful lot of work to be done and we are only part way through the process.

"There is a general recognition within Scottish football that something needs to change. It is vital that what we do is to achieve something that improves the whole of Scottish football going forward and is not just considered piecemeal.

"We are trying to put forward a whole package of measures that we can then put to the clubs and vote on, because we need 11 hands in the air to achieve any change, so that consensus package is what we are working on."

Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Sport
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
News
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
News
people
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
News
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Extras
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape