How the Dutchman himself can recover from a mortifying evening of monumental proportions that will go down in the annals alongside the other 7-1 stain on their record - the 1957 League Cup final drubbing by Celtic - is certain to become the vexing issue for the club’s supporters. It shreds his credibility in a season in which his team has already been on the receiving end of two 4-0 batterings and a 3-0 thumping. Such blow-outs are sure to leave the Rangers faithful demanding answers over a second-half collapse that brought a six-minute hat-trick for substitute Mo Salah during a closing 15 -minutes, four-goal blitz in which his players appeared to give up the ghost. A charge the Rangers manager chose not to engage with directly.
“I cannot explain,” he said of what went so appallingly wrong on an evening the Ibrox side took a 17th minute lead through Scott Arfield. “I have to process this, I cannot explain at the moment. We have to change our mentality, that’s for sure. We can be very strong, as we showed today [in the first haf, which ended 1-1]. But when we are not there mentally then our levels drop really quick. We perform way less than we should do. That’s something we need to avoid for the future in this competition and also in the league. It’s a thing we have to improve if we are to be successful this year.
"We had four transition moments when we lost the ball and they punished us really quick with the attack they have. In the last 25 minutes we were not in the game, not with our heads and the decisions we made an against a team like Liverpool, with Thiago, Salah and Jota and you are not in the game you get punished."
Rangers’ cause wasn’t help by losing Connor Goldson and Ryan Jack either side of the interval to injury. And questions over the availability of the pair for the weekend trip to Motherwell were more posers that van Bronckhorst could not answer. “They couldn’t continue. Connor got something in his muscle,” he said. “We have to wait and see what exactly the injury is, but he will be out. The same goes for Ryan. We need to wait until tomorrow and assess their injuries and how long it’s going to be there are out for.”