Rangers boss Giovanni Van Bronckhorst refuted suggestions of arrogance from former Light Blues midfielder Dragan Mladenovic ahead of the Europa League last-16 tie against Red Star Belgrade.
Rangers stunned European football with a 6-4 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund in the play-off round which prompted Mladenovic, who arrived at Ibrox from Red Star in 2004 and is now academy director at his old club in Serbia, to speculate on his former employers ahead of the first leg on Thursday night.
He was quoted as saying: “Rangers deservedly won convincingly, and the Scots are now a little arrogant. They are full of self-confidence, but that arrogance can hit them on the head.”
Van Bronckhorst, who confirmed Aaron Ramsey will be on the bench at Ibrox, said: “Why are we arrogant?
“I don’t see any of my players being arrogant. We are very humble at this moment, we enjoy being in Europe but we respect every opponent we face.
“I don’t see any arrogance in my team, myself or the club.
“We are happy to be in this round, we will do everything to win this tie and arrogant is not the word that comes to me when I see my players preparing for this game.
“We are happy that we overcame Dortmund, we know that is going to be tough again with the opponent we are facing now.
“They were the group winners but we start all over again. We want to be in the next round and we are working hard and preparing well as we did in the previous games to be ready for tomorrow.
“I have full confidence that we can have a good result but every game in Europe is tough so we will do everything possible to make sure we can go into the next round.”
Ramsey has struggled for fitness since arriving on loan from Juventus in the January transfer window.
The 31-year-old midfielder returned to the squad for the cinch Premiership match against Aberdeen at the weekend after missing four games but was an unused substitute.
“Aaron will be in the squad, he will not be starting,” said Van Bronckhorst, who revealed midfielder Steven Davis is still sidelined.
“With Aaron, it is the same as every player in my squad, you want every player to be available and be able to play but you have to also monitor the conditions of the players.
“We are doing that for Aaron, for Steven, for Ianis (Hagi) the same, they cannot play, that will always happen in the season.
“For us, the most important thing is to make sure we have the individual programmes for each player to come back, first to game fitness and that’s what we are doing now.
“I am happy that Aaron is back in the squad and we are working hard to get Steven back in the squad as well and for Ianis we know it is going to take longer but we know we will always have players in your squad who need attention.”
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