Mark Warburton has admitted that the massive Rangers support travelling to Germany next weekend has only reinforced the message that he must deliver European football next season.
As many as 8,000 fans will descend on the east of the county for a glamour clash with RB Leipzig, the new pretenders to the Bundesliga throne who are bankrolled by Red Bull and spent £13 million on Scotland winger Ollie Burke.
They hope it will be a taste of what is to come in the summer when they expect Rangers to be fighting in the Europa League qualifiers to reach the group phase.
The Rangers boss said: “We will have phenomenal backing in Germany and I’m not sure what RB Leipzig must be thinking with the amount of Rangers fans that are going to the game.
“The fans are desperate for European football again and that’s what we want to achieve this season.
“So many fans have told me they can’t wait for the first European game but never did I believe we would be taking between seven or eight thousand with us for a friendly in Germany.
“We are second in the table, so we are in a good place. We can still be better and we have to be more clinical in games but we are in a good position. The fans want to see progress and I think we have done that.”
If all goes to plan, those travelling Rangers supporters will be the first to see Jon Toral in action in a light blue shirt, and Warburton hopes to have another loanee in the squad for the friendly against the newbies of the Bundesliga, who are serious challengers to Bayern Munich for the title.
Toral, who played under Warburton at Brentford, is currently on loan at Granada in Spain from Arsenal and is expected to arrive at Rangers’ Auchenhowie training ground tomorrow. Warburton is also chasing former Brentford playmaker, Jota Peleteiro.
He said: “We are looking to have one or two in for the Leipzig game. We are a lot closer to them being done but until they are with you then you have to man mark them.
“It has to be players who fit into the squad and I’m confident if we get the two lads they will do that.
“Leipzig will be a really tough test but it’s the type of challenge that we wanted. It’s a different stadium and a different environment for the players.
“They are second in the Bundesliga so they are a good side – they are a high-energy pressing sort of team so that will challenge us.”