Michael Beale stressed the importance of this week to everyone at Rangers as he looks first to take his side past PSV Eindhoven and into the Champions League.
The thrilling first leg of the play-off tie against the Dutch side at Ibrox last week ended in a 2-2 draw and further improvement since the opening-day cinch Premiership defeat at Kilmarnock was confirmed again on Saturday with the Light Blues’ 2-0 win over Ross County.
Beale hopes the complete 90-plus minute performance he is looking for comes at the Philips Stadion on Wednesday night, before the visit of Celtic in the league on Sunday where the Light Blues can leapfrog their Old Firm rivals with a victory.
“It is hugely exciting week if you’re a Rangers player or a Rangers follower and I’m no different as the coach,” said Beale, who revealed midfielder Kieran Dowell misses out with a slight knee problem.
“The two games we’ve got coming up in the next four or five days is what it’s all about, playing for this club.
“If you can’t enjoy it, and you can’t seize the opportunities in front of you, then you probably don’t deserve to be at our club.
“This is a huge moment. It’s important that we give this game everything – it is a final, if you like, in that sense.
“This team is due a big performance and we have a great opportunity. We know we will have to perform better than we did last week if we want to go through.
“There won’t be too many surprises, but we have a lot of variety across the forward positions.
“We know we will need to be strong defensively first and then take our opportunities when they come.”
Having qualified for last season’s group stage, Rangers lost all six games including a 7-1 loss to Liverpool to post the worst ever Champions League record.
Beale, though, is desperate for another shot at the competition.
“It would be huge (to qualify),” he said. “It would be huge for the club and the fans first and foremost, and these group of players that are desperate to play in that competition again.
“For me and the staff obviously that’s the aim coming into pre-season. We have a huge test in front of us to see that be a reality.
“I believe that this is a game that where both teams will have opportunities and it’s the team that’s the most decisive that will go through.”
While PSV Eindhoven were given a free weekend to prepare, Rangers travelled to Dingwall where Beale believes the 90 minutes was beneficial to his squad.
The former QPR boss said: “Obviously we’ve got about 14 or 15 players moving on this summer and nine new players coming in. The more games you play you think your team will get stronger.
“It was a good victory at the weekend. It was a clean sheet, it was a step in the right direction in the league and I was pleased with that.
“Sat here now without any injuries and everyone in a good place mentally, I think it was the right thing that we played. I think it’s to our advantage that we played at the weekend.”