Borna Barisic fears Rangers’ Europa League shoot-out with Galatasaray in front of an empty Ibrox will be rendered a ‘borefest’ without the noise of the Light Blues faithful to roar his side on.
The Turkish giants will touchdown in Glasgow next Thursday for a winner-takes-all clash, with a group stage pass on offer.
The Super Lig side are used to playing in front of raucous atmospheres, with their supporters renowned for welcoming opponents to Istanbul with “Welcome to Hell” banners.
Barisic is pleased Steven Gerrard’s team will have home advantage this time – but is disappointed the Light Blues legions will not be allowed access to give Fatih Terim’s men their own customary greeting.
The Croatia left-back is still getting used to the closed-door restrictions forced upon Scottish football because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He usually thrives on the passionate backing of the Rangers support but admits the games this season so far have been short on excitement.
He said: “I think it’s a bonus because we play at home – but I really miss the fans so much.
“It’s so different to play without the fans. When we started the season and played the first few games in empty stadiums, I thought, ‘It’s OK, it’s OK’.
“But now it’s starting to become very boring without fans because they always push you on.
“You know the crowd gives you energy, especially when we play at home.
“So obviously I miss the fans so much I cannot explain. I think everybody feels the same.”
Rangers put on a Dutch masterclass to tee up their Galatasaray clash as they pummelled Williem II 4-0 in Tilburg.
But before facing up to Radamel Falcao and co, Rangers have domestic duties to take care of at Fir Park on Sunday.
And Barisic knows his team have no margin for error against Motherwell after dropping two points in last week’s draw at Hibernian.
He said: “Last Sunday was a game we should have won, for sure.
“Pressure always exists at Rangers, we’ve spoken about that a lot of times.
“I know the fans are disappointed with the result last week. We are also disappointed.
“But it cannot always be perfect. Sometimes things like this happen.
“We just need to look forward. We did that on Thursday and won 4-0. Now we must do it again on Sunday and try to win.
“It’s always a tough away game at Motherwell. I don’t think the position of Motherwell in the league table shows how good they are.
“I think they are one of the better teams in the league so we’re expecting a difficult match.”