Giovanni van Bronckhorst rules out debut against Celtic for Aaron Ramsey

Transfer deadline file photo
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst ruled out a Celtic Park debut for Aaron Ramsey and dismissed suggestions that Allan McGregor’s place in the team was under threat.

Ramsey joined on a loan deal from Juventus on Monday but the Wales international cautioned that he might not be fit enough to play in the derby on Wednesday night.

The 31-year-old last played in mid-November, for Wales, and has had injury issues as well as contracting Covid-19 in January.

Ahead of Wednesday’s cinch Premiership encounter at Parkhead, van Bronckhorst said: “Aaron trained with the squad. He is just coming back from a couple of weeks when he didn’t play, so it’s too soon for him to be involved, but I expect him to be in the squad in the near future, really quick.”

McGregor’s position came under scrutiny after he made two costly errors during Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Ross County.

But the Rangers manager said: “I don’t have a decision to make. For me, Allan is the number one goalkeeper and you know with goalkeepers, if they make a mistake, most of the time it’s crucial.

“But I think Allan is still a great goalkeeper. He has saved us many times this season and it would be strange for me to get him out of the team after the game on Saturday.

“You don’t want to make mistakes on purpose, it will overcome you, but Allan turned 40 on Monday so he has all the experience to overcome this situation.

“For me there was no discussion to think about taking Allan out of the team.”

Van Bronckhorst went on to experience huge games with Arsenal, Barcelona, Holland and Feyenoord after his playing stint at Ibrox around the turn of the century, but he admits the prospect of facing Celtic again is a major moment.

“It’s the case for players and it’s the same for coaches, you have special games in your career and in a season and of course for me and the club the Old Firm is the biggest game we play in the league,” he said.

“I played as a player, now also as a coach. It’s the same – you want to enjoy the game, you want to be successful and make sure you get a good result.

“I feel excitement because it’s a big game. I played many big games in my career – Old Firms, El Classicos, the World Cup final, Champions League final, Euros, World Cups, all exciting games.

“To prepare for games like this is really, really nice because you want to get the best out of your team, you want to perform well and make sure everything is well organised.

“But it’s all with a lot of energy and to make sure everything is there to get a good result.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1