Rangers fire warning to Hibs ahead of eagerly anticipated renewal
Giovanni van Bronckhorst has warned Hibs they will face a very different Rangers team at Easter Road on Wednesday night than the one they defeated 3-1 in the Premier Sports Cup semi-final.
New Rangers manager van Bronckhorst was a spectator at Hampden 10 days ago when Martin Boyle’s hat-trick stunned the Scottish champions.
Since formally taking charge of the Ibrox club, van Bronckhorst has overseen consecutive victories against Sparta Prague and Livingston while implementing tactical changes to their approach.
“I have a different style and a different play than the team used on that day (at Hampden),” said van Bronckhorst.
“Of course, we looked back to the game where we played them last. It will be a difficult game on Wednesday because it is not the same way of playing.
“Still, you can see the threats that Hibs have got with their system, with the players they have. I think they were on the day very solid, very good and were very clinical in the chances they got.
“They deservedly won the game on the day. That is what we take from the game last week and Wednesday is a new chance for us to get the three points.”
Van Bronckhorst confirmed his intention to continue making alterations to his tactical set-up, both from game to game and within games themselves.
“It is quite a big squad, a big squad with a lot of different qualities and strengths within the players in the back line, the midfield and also with our strikers,” he said.
“I know to be dynamic in the system and change the system is very important now in modern football. We also have the players to do so. In that objective, I am very happy with the balance in the squad.
“We will prepare every game differently because different opponents need different strategies and different players as well.”
With Leon Balogun still sidelined by injury, Calvin Bassey is set to continue in central defence alongside Connor Goldson against Hibs. The 21-year-old was signed as a left-back by Rangers but his performances at the heart of the back four have delighted van Bronckhorst.
"I've been really impressed,” he said. “He's a really talented defender. Normally he plays in the left-back position but doesn't have much experience in the centre back area.
"So I'm really happy with his performances so far. I think he has the physical ability to play there.
"We will help him a lot in that position, when he has to pass, when he has to dribble, the positioning he has to take when the other defender has got the ball.
"He's a player who is very open to learning and he gives a lot of energy to the team.”
Van Bronckhorst also reiterated the possibility of Scotland right-back Nathan Patterson getting more game time as a wide midfielder, having filled that role as a substitute in the last two games.
"It's an option for me, especially when you have games like Livingston and also Prague when you're playing really well and really have to defend the advantage we have,” he said.
"So with Nathan you have a player who is defensively very solid. I think his combination (on the right) with James Tavernier is excellent and that's an option for me.”
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