Giovanni van Bronckhorst bemoans Rangers' performance level in Dundee United victory

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst admitted his team were well below the standards he has set for them as they struggled to overcome Dundee United 1-0 at Ibrox.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst passes on intructions during his team's 1-0 win over Dundee United at Ibrox. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst passes on intructions during his team's 1-0 win over Dundee United at Ibrox. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

James Tavernier’s 71st minute penalty was enough to extend van Bronckhorst’s unbeaten start in the job to eight games and send the Scottish champions seven points clear of Celtic at the top of the Premiership.

But it was a spluttering display from Rangers against a Covid-hit United side who fielded four teenagers and earned warm praise from van Bronckhorst.

“For us, it’s a vital three points although the performance, out of the games I have coached, was one of the less effective ones,” he said.

“It was a difficult game. It was a Dundee United team who did everything to give us a challenge, which they did. It was a really good performance by them.

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“Our performance wasn’t the way I wanted, the way I wanted to play. That’s why we struggled to create chances.

“In the second half, we created a bit more danger and we should have scored with a couple of chances before we did score.

“Of course, from a penalty you know James is very good at it so I was really pleased to get the goal. United kept pushing us to try and make it 1-1 but in the end I’m really happy with the points.

“United had good organisation, a lot of players behind the ball. But when the game is progressing, you get more space. Especially when Scott Wright came on (at half-time) on the right and gave us more depth and speed on the flanks. It showed in the second half.”

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Van Bronckhorst will now have a full week between fixtures for the first time since he replaced Steven Gerrard with Rangers next in action at home to St Mirren on Boxing Day.

“I’m very pleased about that because it’s been constantly two games a week,” he said. “In the end, the boys also felt it a little bit. The energy levels weren’t 100 per cent and we had to dig in deep to get the points.

“This week will be used to prepare ourselves really well. First, take a couple of days off to rest and then prepare ourselves for the last week before the winter break.”

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