Boyd wants clean sheet to set Rangers up for away tie

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The Independent Football

The Rangers striker Kris Boyd has admitted his side have found it easier to get goals away from home in Europe this season.

The Gers go into their Uefa Cup last-16 tie against Werder Bremen having drawn a blank in their last three European games at Ibrox, against Barcelona, Lyon and Panathinaikos.

But they have scored seven goals on their travels – two more than in Glasgow – including Nacho Novo's strike in Athens that saw them past Panathinaikos on the away-goals rule.

Boyd is certain a clean sheet at Ibrox tomorrow night would set them up nicely for the second leg in Germany.

The Scotland striker said: "Obviously, you don't want to lose goals at home in Europe so if you can keep a clean sheet it is always a bonus. The results on the road this season have been pretty good so if we can get a good result at Ibrox it will stand us in good stead for going to Germany.

"It's harder at home when teams come because they don't want to lose any goals. They make it tough for us and we have found it a bit tougher to break teams down at Ibrox than we have on the road this season."

The visit of Bremen, who sit second in the Bundesliga and, like Rangers, dropped out of the Champions League after the group stages, is one of a number of big cup-ties Rangers face this month.

Walter Smith's side have a Scottish Cup game against Hibernian on Sunday and face Dundee United in the CIS Cup final seven days later.

Boyd admitted challenging on four fronts – including their attempt to wrest the league title from Celtic – in March was an unrealistic ambition in pre-season.

But the 24-year-old knew as soon as the season kicked off that manager Smith's rebuilding work would reap dividends.

"Not at the beginning of the season, but once the season started, we got to the top of the table and we are still in the cup competitions," Boyd added. "We are delighted to be in the four competitions still."