Giovanni van Bronckhorst reveals he will make two huge Rangers decisions on day of crucial Champions League qualifier
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst says his players must provide the spark that allows the club’s support to turn Ibrox into an inferno for Champions League qualifying opponents Union Saint-Gilloise.
As the Dutchman remained non-committal over whether he would look to start Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent, he cautioned about expecting the fabled Ibrox factor to be enough in itself to allow Rangers to overturn the 2-0 first leg deficit in the third round qualifier. That would be a feat of a magnitude the Govan side have never accomplished at home in a two-legged European tie.
“They [the fans] always have a big role. When we play home games, the atmosphere is fantastic. The support of the fans is amazing,” he said. “I’m sure it will be the same tomorrow. [But] we have to make sure that our performance is better than last week because then we can create an atmosphere that will make it really difficult for our opponent, as we have shown many times before.”
Rangers’ wretched display in Lueven has left their hopes of the £40m-windfall of Champions League football in the balance. Starting roles for Morelos - who netted as a second half substitute in the win over Kilmarnarnock that marked his comeback for five months out - and Kent, who missed the first leg defeat and the weekend win over Kilmarnock, could be crucial to tipping that balance in his team’s favour.
Van Bronckhorst appears hopeful both players can be utilised in the quest to progress to the Champions League play-off against either PSV or Monaco.
“Ryan did some parts of the training today,” he said. “We need to assess him tomorrow to see if he is fit enough to start, or even get minutes. It is very positive for me that he was on the pitch today. I think he is a player who, if he is fit to play, I will have a lot of thinking in my mind. It is a player who can be the difference. He is in the squad and for me it is a sign that if he is fit we want to use him.
“Morelos has been training with us for a little bit longer and also had his first minutes for the season on Saturday. He’s there to take part in the game. If it’s from the start, we also have to assess him tomorrow.”
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