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Arthur's Column // 10th August 2023

Taking any kind of lead from a home game in the Champions League qualifiers is good work.

The 2-1 win over Servette on Wednesday evening has given the team something to build on.

I would fancy us to score in the away leg and that means they need to get at least two goals.

So, if we can be solid at the back, the players really defend for their lives, then we can get through to the play-off.

But it's not just about the defenders playing to their maximum, it's about the whole team being focused and disciplined.

It needs to start from the front players, make sure Servette can't build easily from the back, play through the lines and penetrate us in the final third.

Jack Butland, of course, will also be vital on Tuesday night. I have to say that I like the look of him. Allan McGregor's departure left big gloves to fill, but Jack looks as though he is going to be more than able.

He has a calming presence on the pitch and is also a good communicator.

Here is the bottom line. If Jack keeps a clean sheet in midweek then we are through.

I feel it is very achievable. Servette is a good side but they are not great. We shouldn't be fearing them.

We got a two goal lead at Ibrox and it was down to another calm penalty from James Tavernier.

Cyriel Dessers doubled our advantage and that was an important goal.

I like the look of Cyriel. He has really clever movement in and around the penalty box, and I've a feeling he will score important goals.

It was disappointing to concede just before half-time but setbacks happen, It's about how you deal with them and recover.

Michael Beale got his message through at half-time and the players didn't allow Servette to build any momentum after the interval.

It was a fairly comfortable 90 minutes and it was just a pity we didn't get a third goal to widen the margin between the teams.

But Michael and the players can win the tie and it looks as though it will be another game against PSV Eindhoven to make it to the group stages.

However, before any of that, we need to win against Livingston on Saturday.

The result at Kilmarnock last week was unacceptable. We didn't create enough chances or test their goalkeeper enough.

It's vital to get three points this weekend to get us up and running. Nothing else will do!



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