Barry Ferguson says it will be "great for Scotland" if Rangers FC earn the point they need against Olympique Lyonnais to join Celtic FC in the last 16.
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Rangers FC captain Barry Ferguson wants to put the disappointment of missing out on UEFA EURO 2008™ behind him by clinching a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League against Olympique Lyonnais.
Rangers face the French champions in their climactic Group E match at Ibrox knowing a point will be enough to progress at the expense of Alain Perrin's side – and Ferguson is desperate to join city rivals Celtic FC in the knockout stage. "It was a big disappointment not to reach EURO 2008™ with the Scottish national team," said Ferguson. "Last week Celtic reached the last 16 and obviously we want to do the same. It would be great for Scotland to have two teams in the latter stages of the competition. We know it's a difficult task but I'm sure all the boys are going to be right up for the game."
If Rangers are to get the required result, the 29-year-old acknowledges they will have to find a way of subduing Lyon playmaker Juninho Pernambucano, who is poised to make his 50th UEFA Champions League appearance. With the Brazilian having registered 15 shots on goal during the campaign so far – one less than the entire Rangers team – Ferguson is in no doubt about the danger ahead. "Juninho's a great player and we all know the threat he poses from set-pieces," he said. "They've got a lot of fantastic players but he's the biggest threat to us. We found that out in the first game in Lyon. He had some fantastic efforts on goal and Allan McGregor made some fantastic saves. Obviously we have to be careful but you can't help giving some fouls away."
Asked about comments made by Chelsea FC striker Didier Drogba regarding the advantage offered by the vociferous Ibrox support, Ferguson said the capacity home crowd might well play a part in unsettling the visitors. "I would go along with that," he said. "I've been to a lot of stadiums in many countries and I think there's no better atmosphere than Ibrox on a European night. I think it could unnerve them and I hope it does. The pressure is all on Lyon because they have to come and win. No one gave us a chance at the start of this group, so we can go out and enjoy the occasion and hopefully get the win."