'It doesn’t work like that' - Rangers boss on how he picks the team, new signings and Alfredo Morelos

At Ibrox on Wednesday, ahead of Rangers’ Champions League clash with Napoli, a key point of discussion was the make-up of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s starting XI.

There were no summer signings in the line-up while nine of the 11 that started were with the club during Steven Gerrard's first season in charge in 2018.

It spoke of a lack of regeneration at Rangers and raised questions of the recruitment in recent seasons.

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Following the 3-0 loss to the Italian league leaders with the home side putting in a spirited display, Van Bronckhorst was quizzed as to why no summer recruits had started and specifically about centre-back Ben Davies who was an unused substitute with Leon King chosen to come on following James Sands’ red card.

The Dutchman said: “Ben Davies? Why do I have to talk about Ben Davies? He has been injured, he is just back in training. I put players in who I think will be ready to play. That is why I put Leon in first. He defends really well, he defended really well in the second-half against Ajax. That is why I put him in and why Ben didn’t start.

“I always pick the team who I think will win the game. I am not going to pick 11 players and say: ‘Okay, I’ll put three new signings in and four who have been here for 10 years’. It doesn’t work like that.

"I have my two eyes, I can see how their performances are, I can see how they train. I don’t look at new signings or players who have been here for a longer number of years, I just pick the best 11 for the game. I think the starting 11 played really well.”

Positive week for Morelos

Rangers manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst . (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

One key decision Van Bronckhorst made was handing Alfredo Morelos his first start of the campaign.

Following the Colombian's red card at Hibs there was a short period where it looked like he may have played his last game for the club.

Morelos responded in a positive fashion and impressed his manager to the point where a recall to the starting XI was a reward for his hard work.

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“I said before already that it has been a very positive week for him,” Van Bronckhorst said. “Clearly you can see he is working hard. I thought the first start for him would be after a couple of weeks. But he has done well, he was very dangerous, he could have scored in the first minute.

"We know what he will bring to the team. In the Napoli game we needed him to be the target man and hold the ball up. In the first-half he played really well and should have got some free-kicks in favour of him with the physical battles he had to take with the defenders. He is clearly on another level to what he was a couple of weeks ago, a couple of months ago.

"We still have Antonio who is performing well, especially up front. In the No9 position I think we have two players who can give me what I want.”

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