STEVEN GERRARD hopes the rest of Scottish football can follow the Old Firm example and improve the standing of our game in Europe.

Rangers moved to within touching distance of a place in the Europa League knockout rounds this term with a thrilling 2-0 victory over Porto on Thursday night.

The Gers now head to Feyenoord later this month knowing a draw could be enough to see them progress into the last 32 of the competition before their matchday six clash with Young Boys.

Celtic have already achieved that aim thanks to their win in Rome this week as they came from behind to make it six points from six against Serie A giants Lazio.

The Old Firm are neck and neck at the top of the Premiership ahead of their return to domestic action this weekend. Rangers make the trip to face Livingston on Sunday, while Celtic will host Motherwell.

And Ibrox boss Gerrard isn’t surprised to see how close and competitive the rivals are this term.

He said: “I don’t think it is just us two, I think it is whoever has the opportunity to qualify for Europe.

“You obviously have to focus on your club and do everything you can to work towards improving the co-efficient and improving Scottish football, but collectively whoever gets the opportunity to fight in Europe has to do everything they can to improve it because it helps everyone in the bigger picture.

“I think both teams have improved, both teams have recruited well and I think that was always going to be the case because we were improving really quick and moving forward and people have to react to that and do what they can to improve. Both teams are very consistent at the moment and it is going to be a fascinating journey.”