RED STAR BELGRADE boss Dejan Stankovic has demanded their passionate fans recreate their Eternal Derby atmosphere in their Marakana Stadium cauldron against Rangers in the Europa League.
Rangers face a hostile second leg in the Last 16 of the competition after they made it through after sensationally eliminating Borussia Dortmund.
Red Star warmed up for the clash by beating rivals and Serbian SuperLiga leaders Partizan Belgrade 2-0 in front of a sell-out 41,000 crowd. They have two more league matches before they face Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side next week.
The rivalry between the two Belgrade rivals is regarded as one of the fiercest in the world and Red Star fans smashed up a Partizan-friendly bar before the game in ugly clashes.
But Stankovic was thrilled at the atmosphere inside the stadium, which still had a 110,000-capacity until the 1990s before it was renovated, as Red Star moved to within two points of Partizan at the top of the league.
He said: “I was overjoyed to see the Marakana like that. It’s been such a long time since it was full. I speak as someone who was born a Red Star fan and I’ll always be one.
“The atmosphere the stadium generated was incredible and we want it full for the Europa League match too. There are always incidents in the stands during the Eternal Derby, but there were no dramatic situations.
“I must credit the coaching staff for getting the players into shape because we have so many games just now. We have two big matches before we play Rangers and it’s important the players are ready for the schedule.
“Rangers have the same problems as us. They have to play a lot of games too. It will two difficult Europa League games for us…and for Rangers.
“We were positive and deserved to win and I am thrilled we gave our fans something to cheer.”