Albertz ready to prove point against Monaco

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If grievance played a part in the outcome of a game, Monaco could well have saved themselves a trip to Scotland. The French side belatedly made it last night after storms on the Cote d'Azur had made it too perilous to fly.

If grievance played a part in the outcome of a game, Monaco could well have saved themselves a trip to Scotland. The French side belatedly made it last night after storms on the Cote d'Azur had made it too perilous to fly.

It had been pretty stormy in Glasgow too. Not just outside Ibrox, but inside where there was plenty of howling to drown out the weather.

Jorg Albertz used the press conference before Rangers' most vital match of a rollercoaster season to confirm that it was the fourth estate and not Prince Rainier's players who are serving as motivation. The Scottish champions' recent ills are apparently nothing to do with poor form or injuries, but the sting of the press, said Albertz, confirming the siege mentality that has encircled the club before the final Group D game that both sides must win.

"If we win we will all be big heroes and if we lose then you will have lots of things to write about as well," he said. The German midfielder has not even been part of the side criticised for recording just a single win in seven domestic and European games. He was injured, but Ibrox's talisman has taken it just as personally.

"If we get beat then all the problems will come out and you will make us look bad. There has never been a bad atmosphere in the dressing room, or the players wanting Lorenzo Amoruso removed as captain. You wrote that," he said.

"We had a bad spell, but we have got our act together now and we want to go on from here."

Presumably, if the press get the blame for the slump, then they must also take a share of the credit for the 7-1 hammering of St Mirren on Saturday, but none of Dick Advocaat's squad were handing out win bonuses to the media yesterday.

It is such a long way from 20 September, when Rangers were praised to the heavens for their 1-0 win in Monaco which gave them two wins from their opening two matches. It is the solitary point gained from the three games since that has endangered their chances.

And the match-winner from that night, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, will be missing from the sides' latest encounter. The midfielder has succumbed to the groin injury which has sidelined him for the last month.

Michael Mols and Ronald de Boer are in the doubtful category while Bert Konterman is suspended for a game which means everything to Rangers. "Financially, it would be a great step forward if we reached the next stage, but also for our prestige," said their manager.

RANGERS (possible 4-4-2): Christiansen; Ricksen, Amoruso, Wilson, Numan; de Boer or Kanchelskis, Ferguson, Tugay, Albertz; Miller, Mols or Dodds.

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