Rangers news: Van Bronckhorst makes Ibrox board barb, Celtic hand them huge boost, Benfica star purrs

The latest headlines from a Rangers perspective as a former manager speaks on his exit from club

Van Bronckhorst breaks Rangers silence

Former Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has lifted the lid on his time at Ibrox, saying he “missed support from above”. The Dutchman won the Scottish Cup and guided the Ibrox outfit to the Europa League final but was sacked in 2022 and replaced by Michael Beale after falling behind Celtic in the title race. Speaking to FourFourTwo, Van Bronckhorst said: “As far as I'm concerned, our squad could have been strengthened after we reached the Champions League group stage that August at PSV's expense. Unfortunately, it didn't happen. When I got fired a few months later, I missed the support from above. Things didn't go well at that stage, especially when we fell nine points behind Celtic – that isn't allowed – but it's also good to look at the broader picture. I believe some guys on the board could have handled the situation in another way, especially if you assess how we performed in the previous campaign, but that's quickly forgotten. I had other meetings with the board in November 2022 and told them what needed to happen to turn things around. I hope Rangers can find their way back to the top, as I'll forever be associated with the club and cherish the wonderful memories. Sadly, I didn't leave in the way I wanted."

Rangers get boost from Celtic

Giovanni van Bronckhorst left Rangers in November 2022.Giovanni van Bronckhorst left Rangers in November 2022.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst left Rangers in November 2022.

Celtic suffered an “almighty blow” in the title race despite Rangers losing against Motherwell, according to former Ibrox boss Graeme Souness. Celtic missed the chance to go back to the top of the cinch Premiership on Sunday when they lost 2-0 against Hearts at Tynecastle and Souness said: “They [Rangers] lost at the weekend, but that can happen. It happened to me many times in my managerial career and playing career, where you have had the best chances but you lose the game. That can happen. But this weekend was still a great weekend for Rangers. Simply because Celtic were going into that game on Sunday thinking ‘it’s our opportunity, let’s be bang at it’. They were bang at it but they still came unstuck. OK, they got a player sent off, but that’s an almighty blow to Celtic this weekend that they couldn’t make ground up, having seen Rangers slip up the day before.”

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High praise from Di Maria

Benfica forward Angel di Maria expects a tough clash when the two teams meet in Europa League last 16. The first leg is in Lisbon on Thursday, with the second leg at Ibrox a week later, and the Argentina World Cup winner said: “Rangers wasn’t the best opponent for us in this draw but at this stage, every rival is complicated. We have the first match at home so we’ll need maximum concentration to get a good result. It will be decided in Glasgow but we have to go there with an advantage. I don’t predict many goals in this tie. We have watched Rangers and they have an excellent squad. The keeper, Butland, is one of the best in Europe. They have the experience of James Tavernier – and Fabio Silva will be super-motivated for this match. If we control the ball against Rangers, I’m convinced we can score goals. But this will be a big battle for us. We wanted to be in the Champions League but our challenge now is to reach the Europa League final."