Rangers urged to stay calm

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The Independent Football

Dick Advocaat, the Rangers manager, yesterday urged his players to avoid the bait when Zalgiris Kaunas start angling for trouble in today's Champions League qualifier.

Dick Advocaat, the Rangers manager, yesterday urged his players to avoid the bait when Zalgiris Kaunas start angling for trouble in today's Champions League qualifier.

With the Lithuanians trailing 4-1 from the opening leg, Advocaat expects them to throw everything at Rangers in a desperate bid to avoid going out of the tournament by fair means or, maybe, foul. The Dutchman has primed his players to avoid retaliating against any dirty tricks and admitted having a special word to Jörg Albertz, who became embroiled in an incident in the second qualifying round first leg last week. The German midfielder clashed off the ball with Vadim Petrenko in a 33rd-minute incident which saw the visiting player alone booked, and six minutes later it was a foul on Albertz which saw him sent off.

Advocaat anticipates more of the same today, but has told his own players he wants them to fight any signs of rough play with smooth professionalism. "It is Kaunas's last chance and they will try anything against us, but we have too much experience not to be able to handle it," the Dutchman declared. "You might be concerned about the players collecting injuries, but you still have to go for it during the game.

"Maybe we underestimated Kaunas a little in the first game, but the players know about them now. They know what to expect and they have to deal with it. If they try to kick you, then you have to play the ball faster."

But for two injury-time goals from Billy Dodds, Rangers would have been travelling with a slender 2-1 lead rather than the commanding advantage the Scotland striker's double provided. The Glasgow side have slight injury doubts over Albertz and Rod Wallace but both are expected to be fit. The long-term casualties Michael Mols, Arthur Numan and Craig Moore are all absent.

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