Giovanni van Bronckhorst explains why Rangers had to axe Alfredo Morelos from squad

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has explained why he has decided to axe striker Alfredo Morelos from his squad to play PSV Eindhoven in a crucial Champions League qualifier.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has left Alfredo Morelos out of his squad to face PSV.
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has left Alfredo Morelos out of his squad to face PSV.

The 26-year-old, who recently returned to the squad following a long spell on the sidelines following a thigh injury, was sent off 13 minutes after coming on as substitute in the 2-2 draw with Hibs in the cinch Premiership at Easter Road on Saturday.

Rangers are looking to take the final step towards the Champions League for the first time since the 2010/11 season, although last season’s Europa League finalists have a lot of work to do following a 2-2 draw with PSV at Ibrox.

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It was reported earlier on Tuesday that Van Bronckhorst has cut the Colombian striker for the second leg in Holland due to fitness levels and other concerns, including attitude.

Following a discussion, the Dutch boss was supported in his decision by various senior players within the Gers squad and talks about a new deal are on hold.

"We have a lot of important games at the moment, it is for me as the manager to bring the players I think are ready to play,” said Van Bronckhorst on the Morelos situation.

“As a person, it was a hard decision but as a manager an easier one, we are here to represent our club and reach the Champions League.

"We will do everything tomorrow on the pitch to get a positive result for our club. We are very focused and trained well.

Van Bronckhorst will once again go with summer signing Antonio Colak as his main attacker in the Netherlands.

The Croatia striker has scored four goals in his last five games and has kept Morelos on the bench.

"Colak has done really well,” added Van Bronckhorst. “He has had a positive impact on the team with his performances and his goals.

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"For us all of our focus is on PSV, we know the threat they have and how strong they can be at home.

"I know the PSV players and team really well, the game last week helps us to get more info to study where we can exploit and the dangers they have.”