Rangers star ‘looking forward’ to European challenge after ‘disappointing’ year

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Michael Beale’s side face Real Betis at Ibrox on Thursday as they get their 2023/24 UEFA Europa League campaign underway.

Rangers are back in European action this week and looking to put the disappointment of missing out on the UEFA Champions League group stages behind them.

Their defeat to PSV in the play-off round saw Michael Beale’s side drop down to the UEFA Europa League and they get their group stage campaign underway on Thursday as Spanish outfit Real Betis visit Ibrox. One player who is especially looking forward to the challenge of European football is Tom Lawrence after a year of injury hell for the former Derby County midfielder.

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The Welshman missed the majority of last season but is now returning to full fitness and has opened up on the frustration of setbacks to his recovery in that time. Speaking to GlasgowWorld’s sister title The Scotsman, he said: “It is difficult, obviously. The start I had here was really positive and we qualified for the Champions League and I was playing well.

“Then you get an injury. It is hard because there are different stages of the injury so you have to the look short term rather than the long term, if you get what I mean? It is those little key things that you can look forward to, little aims, little goals that keep you going.

“There were setbacks and that was probably the most difficult thing because you think it is going to heal and it’ll be fine and then it is another setback. Then you aim for another thing and it is another setback. “It was just really disappointing, I was working so hard in the gym, for it not to come to fruition. It wasn’t good.”

He continued: “I had the disappointment of last year when I missed out on Europe because of my injury. I really want to play in Europe and I am really looking forward to it. Winning breeds confidence, each game does that.

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“Whether you are playing domestically or in European competitions. If you are winning then you will get confidence from those games. It’s a massive thing in football and we have a chance to start building some momentum.”

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