STEVEN Gerrard has expressed his happiness that both Rangers and their Glasgow rivals Celtic have enjoyed success in Europe in recent weeks and improved this country’s UEFA coefficient ranking.

Scotland are currently on top of the 2019/20 coefficient table ahead of the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, England and Germany thanks to the results the Ibrox and Parkhead clubs, as well as Aberdeen and Kilmarnock, have recorded in European competition this term.

National coefficients are calculated using the results of each association’s clubs in the Champions League and Europa League in the previous five seasons and determine how many qualifying matches teams have to play.

Gerrard became the first manager to lead his side through four qualifying rounds and into the Europa League group stages twice earlier this season.

However, the Liverpool and England great, whose side play Young Boys of Bern in Switzerland in their second Group G match on Thursday, would like to have an easier passage into either the Champions League or the Europa League in future and is hoping their good form continues.

Asked about the fact that Scotland are currently on top of the coefficient league, he said: “It’s good for the country, it’s good for the national team, it has a knock-on effect across the board.

“Obviously in this seat it’s very difficult to park an Old Firm rivalry up, but I have got to look outside that in terms of what can benefit you moving forward and it we benefit as a club then of course it’s fantastic.”

Asked if having two fewer qualifiers to negotiate next season would make a significant difference to his side, Gerrard said: “Of course, because it is two less games on your schedule, that potential banana skin when you are really not 100 per cent fit and not really firing.

“It’s two games where you have less chance of getting injuries because people are really not up to speed. So I would much rather go through three qualifiers than four, that’s for sure.”

Rangers got their Group G campaign off to a positive start with a fine performance and richly-deserved 1-0 win over Dutch giants Feyenoord at Ibrox last Thursday evening. Gerrard, whose team drew with Villarreal in Spain in the same competition last season, admitted he will look to build on that with an away win.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going to Bern with belief and confidence,” he said. “I wouldn’t say we’re expecting to win, but we’ll certainly go with that intention. I want the players to believe. I want them to be confident and not fear anyone.

“If we get it wrong it’s my fault because I’m giving them the system and game plan so all they have to do is go and express themselves with the freedom to go and believe in themselves.

“At times we have punched above our weight in Europe and we’re going to have to punch above our weight again to get out of this group. But what a fantastic opportunity and challenge it is for the players.

“It’s so exciting for them. I’m excited for them because I actually think when the group was given out some people were happy to have Rangers in there. We need to use that to our favour, we need to use that underdog tag.”