Rangers boss 'very confident' of reaching Europa League final as players warned 'the past doesn't count'

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst says his team ‘will give everything’ in their bid to upset the odds and reach the Europa League final.

The Ibrox club go into the first leg of their semi-final against RB Leipzig in Germany on Thursday night as firm outsiders to progress to a showdown with either West Ham United or Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville on May 18.

Rangers are hampered by the injury absences of leading strikers Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe but van Bronckhorst insists they remain upbeat about their prospects of extending an outstanding European run which saw them dispose of Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade and Braga in the previous knockout rounds.

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The Dutch coach knows his players can’t rest on the laurels of those results but is backing them to produce the goods again in a momentous tie.

“Well, of course we have the belief,” said van Bronckhorst.

“If we are still involved in Europe and in a semi-final and you see the run we’ve had in Europe, then it’s been very good.

“But in the end we need another good performance tomorrow and then next week at Ibrox.

“The confidence is there but I also think that we know that we have to perform again and everything we achieved in the past doesn’t count against Leipzig.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst is 'very confident' about his team's chances of making it to the Europa League final. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“We are just preparing well for these two games and I am very confident in my team.

“I am sure that we can get good performances in and have a chance to make the final.

“Personally, that’s what you want.

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“I came in (as manager) in November with my staff and I think we had to start straight away without any preparations.

“We both reacted well. Not only my staff and the staff that were already here, but also the players and we have to do it all together.

“Of course I am the manager and I will lead the team but I'm just very proud of the players and how they have performed in difficult circumstances against difficult opponents.

“We are now in the final weeks of the season and we will give everything we can to be successful in Europe and that’s what you want – being involved in Europe and playing big games.”

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