Ruud van Nistelrooy believes PSV Eindhoven can take advantage of their free weekend to get past Rangers and into the Champions League.
While last season’s Europa League finalists were drawing 2-2 with Hibernian in the cinch Premiership at Easter Road on Saturday, PSV’s fixture against Volendam was postponed to allow the Dutch side to prepare fully for the second leg of their Champions League play-off at the Philips Stadion on Wednesday night.
The crucial match will start at 2-2 following an absorbing first leg at Ibrox last Tuesday and boss Van Nistelrooy is looking to finish the job at home.
Quoted on the PSV website, he said: “We showed ourselves very well last week. Everyone knew beforehand that the duel at Ibrox would be tough.
“Rangers lived up to those expectations. In addition to the support from the stands, which leads to a lot of energy on the field, Rangers play smart, modern football.
“Rangers did a great job reaching the Europa League final last season and much of that team is still intact.
“In addition, the team has strengthened itself with some newcomers.
“A draw is then a good result. Of course the competition has been evaluated by us.
“Because we didn’t play last weekend, we were able to focus on points that deserve extra attention after analysis.
“I hope and expect that we will take advantage of that.
“It is a dream for us to play in the Champions League. We will do everything we can to make it to the main tournament.”
PSV’s Brazilian centre-back Andre Ramalho is glad the Dutch authorities postponed the Volendam fixture and believes it could work in their favour, especially if the tie against a side which impressed him at Ibrox goes to extra time.
He said: “Rangers play with a lot of intensity. We experienced that last week. (On Wednesday) we will play against a team that fights for every metre and is physically very strong.
“Our response to that was good. I think the 2-2 was a fair reflection of the game.
“I appreciate that the KNVB moved last weekend’s match.
“A lot depends on the game we play with Rangers. Every little bit can help us to achieve a good result.
“The support of our crowd, good preparation and fitness can play a role, especially if the game is not decided after 90 minutes.”