Rangers single one man out for special praise as reaction given to landing PSV in play-off round
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst reserved special praise for John Lundstram following his team history-making heroics that leaves only PSV Eindhoven standing in the club’s way of Champions League football.
The midfielder proved the fulcrum for his manager as the Ibrox men secured the 3-0 victory at home to Union Saint-Gilloise that allowed them to become the first Rangers side to overturn a 2-0 deficit in a European tie on their own patch.
“John was really important,” said the Dutchman, who boldly deployed him in a deep-lying role with Tom Lawrence and Scott Arfield pushed further up in the middle third. “He kept the pressure on them and made sure the balance was good in the team. We know the fire he has in these moments and he gave that to the team as well.
“We needed a big performance. The pressure was on us, of course, because of the defeat we had last week. We know we are capable of producing big nights for the club but still you have to do it over and over again. That’s why I’m so proud of my players and the way they played, with passion, with desire, with fire to go to the next round. That’s the way you have to be on the pitch to create the atmosphere we created today with the fans. Again, it was an amazing night for all of us.”
The pairing with PSV – the first leg pencilled in for Ibrox next Tuesday – will bring former Feyenoord manager Van Bronckhorst into contact with old friends, foes and colleagues. “It is familiar, a familiar team for me,” he said. “It will be great for me to see [PSV coach] Ruud van Nistelrooy again. We have so many familiar faces on the bench. [His assistant] Fred Rutten as well, I was the assistant to him at Feyenoord a couple of years ago. It is a familiar place for me and it will be nice to be back in Holland again for a couple of days after a couple of months in Glasgow. But we are going to prepare well. It is big chance for us to take the last hurdle and become a team who can play Champions League this season.”