Giovanni Van Bronckhorst giving due respect to Dundee United ahead of meeting

Celtic v Rangers – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Rangers manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst is giving due respect to Dundee United ahead of Sunday’s cinch Premiership clash at Tannadice.

The Scottish champions travel to Tayside on the back of a stunning 4-2 Europa League first-leg win over German giants Borussia Dortmund on Thursday night.

However, Van Bronckhorst remembers that the Light Blues lost 1-0 at Tannadice last August and had to work hard for a 1-0 win over the Terrors at Ibrox in December.

The Dutchman, whose side are one point behind league leaders Celtic, said: “It’s a team at a ground that can be very difficult.

“The first game we played there this season we lost and they gave us a tough challenge the last time we met them at Ibrox.

“We know it’s going to be difficult, we have to make sure we keep putting the effort and energy into games that we’ve done lately and then I think we have a big chance of getting a result.

“We have to work hard and be strong as a unit so I’m really confident we can extend our form on Sunday as well.”

Van Bronckhorst admits he will have to manage midfielder Ryan Jack’s game time following his recovery from an ankle knock, after returning last November from a knee injury which had kept him out since the previous February.

But the Gers boss was also keen to stress the importance of the Scotland international.

He said: “Yeah, especially with players coming back from long-term injuries and especially with Ryan, he’s done really well in the games he’s played but he’s also had issues with his injuries.

“I’m happy for him but also for me as a coach to have him back in the squad.

“If you see his performances in the games in the last few weeks, he’s been really good and strong and his central partnership with John (Lundstram) is important for the balance in the team so I’m really happy with their performances.

“They’re part of the team and in the last games, we’ve played really good football with a really good balance and recognise what’s needed in the moments in games, if we need to high press or stay as a block.

“So I’m really happy at the moment, with where the team is.

“For me, as a manager, it’s really important to keep the momentum and keep them working hard.

“There’s no time for slip-ups, we have to be focused and I think, at the moment, we really are.”

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