GEORGE JOHNSTON has played under Steven Gerrard and now former Ibrox boss Dick Advocaat.

And the former Liverpool youngster is convinced it will be the veteran Dutch coach who gets the upper hand over Gerrard during Rangers’ Europa League showdown at Feyenoord on Thursday.

Rangers face the trip to Rotterdam this week sitting in second place in their group and will looking to complete a Dutch double, having defeated Feyenoord 1-0 at Ibrox in the opening game of the section in September.

But it’s a very different Feyenoord they will face in the Netherlands this week with a familiar foe in the home dug-out, with Advocaat replacing Jaap Stam last month.

Advocaat may now be 72, but he’s lost none of his coaching passion and spent much of their weekend draw at Groningen - the first time he hadn’t led his team to a victory in the league since his appointment last month - leaping about cajoling his players on and furiously arguing with the fourth official.

Now in his 23rd job as a manager, the man who was in charge of Rangers for three-and-a-half years from 1998 and won five major trophies, shows no sign of slowing down.

Not only has 21-year-old Johnston got first hand experience of both men, he was even recommended to Feyenoord this summer by Gerrard, who worked with him for Liverpool at Under 18s and Under 19s level.

Johnston said: “Dick Advocaat has been great to work with. He’s definitely lifted the mood around the place. He’s quite tough though. Jaap Stam was tough too, but the main difference has just really been the atmosphere around the club.

“It’s probably most noticeable in training. And I think you can see what he’s brought to the club on the pitch. The draw at Groningen was the first time we hadn’t won in the league since Dick Advocaat came to the club and I thought we played some really nice stuff.

“I know Steven Gerrard well because he worked with me at Liverpool and I know just what he demands of his players. He will get his players to give everything on Thursday and that’s going to make it tough for us.

“But at De Kuip with our fans behind us, everything is possible. A couple of the Feyenoord players have been asking me what it’s like working with Steven Gerrard, but to be honest, we are just focused on our own game. If we concentrate on playing to our strengths we will do all right.

“It’s about what we do on Thursday rather than worrying about what Stevie will do with Rangers.”

Feyenoord have been disappointing in the Europa League, but like Rangers, they also managed to defeat Porto at home. And Johnston insists they still believe they can qualify.

He said: “Everyone at the club knows how important this match against Rangers is. And the last game too in Porto. If we win them both, we qualify.

“I know the atmosphere is going to be electric at De Kuip and I can assure you the players will be right up for it too. Hopefully, we can get the job done against Rangers and that would take us on to a massive game away against Porto.

“Rangers are going to be very hard to beat - we found that out at Ibrox. The atmosphere is always great at our stadium and that’s especially the case on European nights. I know it will be outstanding on Thursday.”

Johnston was on the bench in their weekend draw at Groningen and is determined to make an impact if called upon by Advocaat. And he’s insisted he has no regrets about his summer move to Holland.

He said: “At first it was hard settling in here in a different country, but now I feel much more settled and happy. I’m really enjoying my time here at the moment.

“I’ve been on the bench quite a lot although I’ve not yet managed to play yet. I’ve been waiting for my opportunity to come and it’s up to me to take it. It’s important for me to stay prepared for when I am needed.

“I definitely feel I have improved since I got here. It’s a different style of football and a different way of playing, but I feel I have adapted to that and I am enjoying it.”