Rangers friendly postponement: Giovanni van Bronckhorst has say on 'risky' Sunderland situation

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst says the correct decision was taken to abandon Saturday evening’s pre-season friendly against Sunderland after just 45 minutes.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst did not want to take any risks with his players' fitness.
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst did not want to take any risks with his players' fitness.

The match between the Scottish outfit and the Black Cats at Estadio Municipal de Albufeira in Portugal had to be called off at half-time due to floodlight failure, with Sunderland leading 1-0 thanks to a Luke O’Nien goal.

The two teams had to wait for almost an hour before the game was officially ended, but Van Bronckhorst said it was the right call given how early into pre-season Rangers are in and the fitness levels of his players.

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"You want to play a game,” said Van Bronckhorst. “You want to give minutes to all your players to be stronger. Once the lights broke, you wait and you keep waiting, you get the news that they don't have much hope that the lights will be working properly.

"By that point it was like one hour. Too much risk with players who come only in their first week, so a hour hour break and play on was not ideal. We took the decision to not play.

"There were other aspects, we had to go and get the bus, we don't have much hope that it will be working. At first we said we'd wait 15 minutes, then 30, then 45. You want to get your players strong but you also want to keep them fresh and not injured. after such a long delay it's too risky"

Rangers say that any travelling supporters will be offered a full refund for their match tickets.

A statement from the Ibrox outfit read: "Tonight's match in Portugal was abandoned at half time due to a stadium floodlight issue.

"Neither Rangers or Sunderland were responsible for the stadium operations and the floodlight failure. However, Rangers appreciate the support of our loyal fans and the support they give the team everywhere we go which means everything to us.

"Rangers will refund the ticket cost to all Rangers ticket holders and our supporters that purchased the match on RangersTV. Thanks for your continued support."

Rangers are next in action on Saturday when they face Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.