Every word the manager had to say ahead of tomorrow's Champions League play-off first-leg with PSV.

How pleased are you to have Ben Davies and what does the future hold for Ianis Hagi?

Obviously Ben comes back in because Ridvan is not fit and I feel that Rabbi in the last couple of weeks has shown a good face in terms of his speed and his directness and we may need that over the two legs. No issue with Ianis. I think he, as he put in his own words, is happy when he is playing football and he has missed football for a year. He wants to play as a starter week in week out. It may be that between now and the end of the window we look at that. I thought he did well when he came into the game at the weekend.

Does it irk you to see Malik line up for PSV?

Two things on that. The agreement was in place before I came in terms of how it was structured. We stuck to our side of the agreement. Quite frustratingly, Bayern stuck to their side and the did buy-back that they had. Malik knows that outside of the games against Rangers, he has got our full support. He was fantastic for us. I spoke to him a lot over the summer. He is just back from a long-term injury and I think it is a good move for him. We wish him well, outside of these games obviously.

What do you constitute as a good result?

It is about setting the second leg up. We know we need to go across to Eindhoven and put in a fantastic performance, regardless of what happens tomorrow night. Tomorrow night is the first look at two very good teams coming up against each other. We are up against a formidable opponent. When I look at the draw of the other legs, I think you are playing against the strongest side we could play right now. It is a really big opportunity for the club, the players, the fans and everybody so I am looking for us to show a really strong foot in the first leg and set up the second leg in Eindhoven.

What sort of test are you expecting?

The sternest test that we will probably face across the season. I think they are a very, very good team. They have invested in the squad heavily, really good players. There is no doubt about that. I am not so sure about the things about revenge. It is two different coaches. Me and Peter have got a lot to live up to in terms of Ruud and Gio, they both did excellent jobs. There are a lot of changes in personnel in both teams.

Do you now have a clearer idea of your strongest eleven?

Little things are starting to happen. The new players have all now started a game. Jack in goal has had his big moments last week in Servette, which I think you need as a Rangers goalkeeper. The forwards have started scoring and Cyriel has got two goals and assists in four starts, Danilo has got two goals in three starts, so I am looking at the positives. Certainly, after the first weekend of the season we have shown a positive phase in terms of getting results. We made a lot of changes at the weekend, we won and got through and got a nice home draw so everything is fine with that. The focus now is on tomorrow night. It is a squad game and we are going to need 14, 15 players in both games to step up, for sure.

How important is it your forward players are clinical?

We have got a lot of variety. So when you are looking at playing against us, you are unsure about who we are going to pick and how the front line is going to look. I think that is a bonus as a manager of a team when the other side is looking at how you might set up. If you are not playing, there is a way we can change the game with the guys off the side. It is a big moment, these two games, and a moment where big players will hopefully step up and show their worth.

How important is it for Rangers to be playing Champions League football?

It is hugely important to the players because I know it is their dream and their ambition. It would be important because there are more finances than going into the Europa League. We know we are guaranteed that so for these two games we can play with a clear mind and go right for them. We don’t need to worry about whether we are in or out. I have sat beside Steven Gerrard in our time here when there were real do-or-die moments against Galatasaray, Legia Warsaw and Ufa, for example, to get into Europe or not. So this one we know we are in European football up until Christmas and it is what competition. In our way is an excellent team but it is a fantastic opportunity for everybody.

Would being successful impact on what transfer business you do over the next week or so?

There are likely to be more outs than in just because of the size of the squad. The board have invested well from January downwards, about £13million, £14million, on eleven players. When you say eleven players it doesn’t sound like a lot but when you put the price of three or four… I think the transfer market so far we have done extremely well. If you think of Raskin, Cifuentes and Cantwell costing a combined £2million, there is good business being done by this club. Butland on a free transfer, Dowell, Sterling. The money has been spent in the front areas and we did lose five or six players in that area. Maybe one or two out. If we can get one in that I think is going to make the starting team stronger that would be great and I don’t think that is going to depend too much on what happens in these two games.

What would it mean to take this team into the Champions League?

Ultimately this is why you came back and when the opportunity is there you run back to Glasgow. That is part of being manager of this club, those opportunities that it gives you. I know when speaking to the players in the summer this opportunity was huge. We knew we would have to overcome two tough ties. We have done one and now we have a big challenge. Everyone knows that is the competition players want to play in, you want to pit yourself against the best and I think our fans want to see the big nights here in Europe. Let’s go hell for leather for that. If it is not that then we will go for the Europa League and it is a competition we have been in. At this moment in time our full focus is on trying to qualify, of course.

Where do PSV in terms of toughest challenges?

Offensively I think they are an excellent team. They have got some excellent players, players that were sought after. They have got a good coach who has got good experience in Europe and in different domestic leagues so it is a tough challenge. It is a great opportunity for us. It is up with there with pretty much who we have played. Certainly in the attacking positions it is important that we show our quality as well and hurt them when we can.

Has Ianis asked to leave because he would like more first-team football?

Me and Ianis spoke after three or four days of pre-season and he missed a year. I brought Ianis back into the team against Partick Thistle last year very early into his rehab and it was clear at that moment that he wasn’t ready. Over the summer he has worked really hard to be fit. I wouldn’t say he is at optimal fitness right now. I think the conversation with us has always been honest. He is a player I have a strong relationship with on a personal level and his desire is that he wants to be a main starting player every single game. No one has got that guarantee here at Rangers. He is competing with Todd Cantwell for that role and maybe Sam Lammers and one or two others, Tom Lawrence is now returning. It is more what does Ianis need to get back after being out for a year with an ACL? Those conversations and those options, Ianis and his agent have been looking at for the last week or so. In the background, there has been a lot going on.

Was there ever a point you felt a deal for Malik would go through?

He is a fantastic young player. I don’t want to go too far into it but the agreement was there was a number we had to hit and Bayern hit the number straight back. They did that, he is their player and that was their prerogative. In a way, it showed the value that Bayern had on him. They have only loaned him out again this year. Malik has got a lot of people that like him in football, there were a lot of clubs that called me to ask for references on young Malik. He is coming back from a difficult injury and, as I say, after these two games we wish him well.

Have you asked your strikers to do anything differently?

We have got a plan but I am not going to sell it to the world today. Danilo has started three games and has two goals and had other opportunities in Servette and hit the post last week against Livingston. Cyriel came off of not playing last year and has started four games and got two goals and assists. Give him a chance guys, come on. They are new in the country, new in the league and are hitting numbers already. They have rotated a little bit. We know that after losing Arfield, Kent, Tillman, Morelos, Sakala, Colak, there was going to be a period of time when these players were going to need to come together. I think the first result in the first game of the season heightened the emotions but since then I have seen some good signs from the guys.

Has Ridvan had a setback with his injury?

He is the only current player not training. There are 26, 27 outfield players fit in the squad at the moment, with a mixture of young ones thrown in. Ridvan will return to training after this game. The weekend might come a little bit too soon for him but certainly after that we have got a clean bill of health so the work that Mark Waller and the sports science and medical team have done over the summer to rectify the issues we had with injuries has been fantastic.

Do you need the team’s biggest performance since you became manager of Rangers?

I think so, yeah. I think this is a big, big game. It is so early in the season but it is clear it is a big game. We won’t know if either team is really ready because neither team has had the challenge of a team like this in the pressure of this game, which is huge for both clubs. Certainly, if we were to come out of the other side of it, it would be two really big performances.

How much comfort can the Europa League give you?

Listen, what we are trying to do at the moment is play the game that is in front of us and the competition that is in front of us. Once we get this first leg out of the way, we have got a huge game in the league at the weekend. Everyone is aware of that. Every three days at Rangers there is a huge game, the expectation is huge. You see the outcry after a defeat in this city, it is massive. Even sometimes when you win not everyone is happy with the way that you won, the team that you picked or the changes you made. It is par for the course. I wouldn’t want to trade with anyone else for the position and the job position that I am sitting in, that expectation is what you want. You can call it pressure. Tomorrow night, my team play against an excellent team in the Champions League and in that, there is a lot to enjoy. It is important that we embrace it, give it everything. We won’t think about the other competition until this competition is not there for us.

What are your impressions of Dessers as a player and a character?

I don’t think anyone in Scotland has really seen that yet. Cyriel has come in and been really well-behaved. He likes to put himself about and bump into people and we started to see that a bit more at the weekend. He has a good history against PSV, I think he scored twice the last time he played against them. He is a player that people at Rangers have followed for a long time, we tried to sign him even before his time at Feyenoord. So when the opportunity came for him to come into Rangers I was delighted we could do it. He came off two or three months of inactivity and with every game at the moment, he is looking stronger and more like the player I think he can be.

Can Danilo help you with information about PSV?

We have Sam Lammers as well that came through the PSV academy and we have Cyriel and Danilo that played in Holland so they have been a help in terms of their views. When I first met Danilo, Danilo is a Corinthiana and I am a Sao Paulino, so the relationship nearly broke in the first meeting! He is a really good boy in terms of his personality. He lights up the room, he is very bubbly.  There has been a lot of change in his life in the last few weeks moving over into a hotel then moving into his own house and his fiancé coming over. I think he is really enjoying it. His teammates have been good to him. He has come out and said that himself and I think the goals – he has had three starts and two goals – will really help him. He is a player that the fans are excited about and when his name came up it was a player that got into everybody’s imagination. Over the season we are expecting him to be a big player. His scoring per minute rate at Ajax, Feyenoord and Twente was very high.

You spent time in Brazil, did that help you now as a manager? 

Yeah, I worked with a hugely famous player and icon in Rogerio Ceni in his first job, came home and did the same thing for Steven really, was the coach alongside the icon. It was an unbelievable experience and it’s a huge club. They’re in a fantastic moment right now in the final of the Copa de Brazil. It will be a huge game for São Paulo against Flamengo. What I learned during my time was invaluable in the six months I was there, nearly 40 games and a different style. It helped me greatly in my time here with someone like Alfredo Morelos, understanding more about South American culture and how players see the game. It was a huge push forward. It’s not something many people, certainly from the UK, have had an opportunity to do so I feel hugely privileged for that time. 

Could you return one day?

My Portuguese is not perfect but it’s good enough. One day maybe, the clubs there are huge and the club I worked in is a mega-club with an incredible stadium. The frustration was more in the administration nothing to do with the football.

Defensively will the team be able to cope tomorrow? 

It will be a huge challenge for sure it’s the biggest test so far. The result after the game will be how did we do and the boys know they’re in for a tough challenge. It’s important we throw a lot back at PSV as well and try and get them on the back foot.

Danilo said you speak in Portuguese during training sessions, good practice for you? 

It’s a lovely thing that you can help him a little in his Portuguese. I find he really wants to work on his English which is actually very good. Our squad isn’t the most multi-national in terms of languages but its certainly important as you work up the levels, it’s something I learned very early that you have to learn a second language whether it be Spanish or Portuguese, you like to try to speak to the players as best you can. Please don’t try to test me now or you’ll embarrass me!