Gordan Petric has hailed Rangers’ Euro heroics – but he reckons the Ibrox side still need to lift the Scottish Cup to save their season.

The nine-in-row hero was thrilled to see his old side batter Braga to reach the last 16 in the Europa League.

But he doesn’t believe cracking the continent will be enough for Steven Gerrard to class the campaign as a success.

The Light Blues have Hearts at Tynecastle in the Scottish Cup quarter finals this weekend and the big Serb – who lifted the trophy with Gers in 1996 and with Dundee United two years earlier – believes the stakes are huge.

Petric said: “If Steven wins the Cup he saves the season. He needs to lift the trophy.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

“There is pressure for the players to produce because it’s so important to win silverware at this club.

“I don’t know if the European run will be enough – I think they need both for this to be a successful season.

“The league will be difficult now but if they win the Scottish Cup and maybe even go further in Europe, it will really set them up for next season.

“I know from my time as general secretary at Partisan, if you win trophies, it’s easier to persuade players to come to the club, it helps with sponsors and everything.

“It’s so crucial for me for Rangers to win this competition because next season is going to be even more important.

“The European run has been great for the club and it would be fantastic for Rangers and for Scottish football if they can go to the last eight, maybe even semi-finals.

“But they need to get their hands on a trophy.”

Rangers have gone nine years without landing major silverware and Petric admitted he got a crash course on winning when he landed at the club in 1995.

The Rangers players and management celebrate after securing their place in history with a ninth consecutive title win.

He found out Europe was fun but it was the domestic rivalry that the fans obsessed over.

The centre back had helped end United’s Scottish Cup hoodoo but it was a different ball game at Ibrox.

Petric said: “When I signed for Rangers I knew how important it was to win silverware. Walter Smith didn’t need to say anything – it was the dressing room who let me know.

“There was a real Scottish core. Richard Gough, Stuart McCall, Ally McCoist, Gordon Durie, Ian Ferguson, Ian Durrant, Bomber John Brown – it was a strong dressing room.

McAvennie believes a player like Ally McCoist would fit the bill at Celtic

“Foreign guys like myself, Brian Laudrup, even Paul Gascoigne, we all had to adapt because these guys were running the dressing room so well.

“Everything was about winning nine in a row. The talk was league, league, league!

“It was important to win the cup and collect trophies, of course.

“I remember we played in Europe against Juventus and they spanked us 4-0. The supporters said, ‘no problem, the next game was against Celtic!’

"They just wanted the league.

“It’s totally changed now as it’s Celtic on the ones on the run but in a lot of ways it’s still the same.

“Going for 10 was unbelievable pressure. It went right down to the last game. We had a few changes with the likes of Richard Gough left and then came back. The likes of Lorenzo Amoruso, Sergio Porrini and Marco Negri and a few others all came in that summer.

"They had to adapt to the Scottish game. The Scottish boys were a bit older as well and Celtic went on to win the title.”

Petric insisted the league and cup are the be-all and end-all but it doesn’t stop punters dreaming of European glory.

The Rangers players celebrate winning the 1992 Scottish Cup

Gers are in Friday’s last 16 draw and the Serbian reckons they have no reason to fear anyone – as Gerrard’s gameplan is perfect for facing the better sides, even if it’s led to faltering on the home front.

Petric said: “How far can they go? It depends on who they get in the draw. Braga surprised me as they were too open, especially at home.

“But Rangers were brilliant in Braga. I think this is the kind of football that suits them right now.

“They can sit deep and disciplined and hit on the counter attack. If they play the same type of game against the likes of Kilmarnock then it’s a different story, because there is not the same amount of space.

“It suit them to play against the better teams. They can sit 35-40 yards from their goal. I’ve seen them a few times this year, they played that way against Celtic.

“It doesn’t work against Kilmarnock. Perhaps they don’t have the type of player for those games and they can’t play the same way against Hearts this weeks as the supporters wouldn’t be happy.

“I saw the Hearts win earlier this year but this game could be different.”

Gordon Petric was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup.