Ianis Hagi hopes his Rangers heroics made dad Gheorghe proud
Ianis Hagi expects that he made dad Gheorghe proud of rescuing Rangers’ Europa League dreams with his Braga doublesided.
The Gers’ hopes of reaching the last 16 seemed to be in tatters following the side snatched a two-goal lead at Ibrox on Thursday night.
But with Hagi senior, the former Real Madrid and Barcelona celebrity, watching from the directors’ box, the 21-year-old refused to accept defeat and ignited the fightback which got a 3-2 lead heading into following Wednesday’s return leg.
The on-loan Genk attacker scored twice after playing a role in Joe Aribo’s equaliser and stated “It was for nights like this I joined Rangers.
“My entire family were here, so it’s remarkable. It and I’m really proud they were in the stand.
“I am really happy and I think that I left them proud.
“I’m only doing my job. I understand exactly what my job is. Produce, I have to assist and score. That is my job and it does not change if we are currently winning, losing or drawing.
“It’s a significant victory but it’s still only the first legso we must consider about St Johnstone on Sunday. We play every three days, thus we don’t have time to dwell on any game.
“We only need to move on into the next game and we also have to perform the second leg, so nothing is done nevertheless. But we’re confident we could score there and advancement.”
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard heaped praise on Hagi and Aribo following the match said the Romanian had”provided the magic” to get a memorable comeback.
“Ianis is an outstanding talent and that point was made because of him,” said Gerrard.
“There was lots of strain on himhis father was in the audience begging for the very first time at Ibrox.
“He’s got fight in him. It’s not talent, it’s fight. He wants to win.
“It was him who provided the magical and spark to get us back into the game. The goal is outstanding – to cut in on his left foot, which I think is his one that is weak but I am still not sure, was an outstanding finish.
“Then to have the audacity to try out the next one from 30-odd yards out, to possess the assurance. We got a bit of luck but occasionally within this match, you have to create your own luck and he deserved this.”
After falling 10 points behind Celtic in the national title race rangers have suffered much.
However, Gerrard expects this win will provide the spark that reignites their effort.
The former Liverpool skipper – no stranger into European comebacks because a participant added:”This is what Ibrox deserves. It is what this club deserves with the amount of history and that there have been before.
“It’s our obligation to try and get as a number of these nights ago as possible.
“We saw some folks leaving 2-0. There was a little negativity behind the seat, but in football magical nights occur although I’m not sure whether that was the scoreline or the weather.
“I have experienced them as a participant and I am hoping that I encounter a good deal more. Tonight was right up there.”