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Giovanni Van Bronckhorst relishing battle with Celtic again in Old Firm derby

Rangers v Hibernian – Premier Sports Cup – Semi-Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

New Rangers manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst is relishing the prospect of locking horns with Celtic once again in the Glasgow derby.

The Dutchman enjoyed the fixture in his time as a player at Ibrox between 1998 and 2001 and is looking forward to being back in the thick of it. His first taste of the derby as Gers boss will come at Celtic Park on 2 January.

He said: “The Old Firm is one of the biggest games in football – the same as Feyenoord v Ajax or Barcelona v Real Madrid.

“I really enjoyed those games. Being the manager in those games will be the same.

“I enjoyed the Feyenoord v Ajax games as the manager of Feyenoord and I’ll be looking forward to the Old Firm games as well because those are special games and ones you want to win, definitely.”

Van Bronckhorst – whose first match in charge is against Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday – explained that his philosophy is based on developing a strong work ethic within his squad.

He said: “Work, work, work. It starts from working.

“Of course, if you work hard and you have the quality, it will make it easier to win games.

“I am a coach who is very strict. I like discipline. I think it is very important for the way that you behave and the way you play on the pitch.

“But also I like an attacking style of football because this has been my way of playing when I was a player and I am like that as a coach.

“I am a coach that sees what I have and what the squad is.

“The most important thing is to make sure your team plays to its strength and to make sure they are comfortable in their way of playing.

“I am confident we will find a style of play that will suit myself as a coach and also suit the players.”

Van Bronckhorst believes his four years as Feyenoord manager will stand him in good stead for the Rangers job.

He added: “I was working in a big club as well in Feyenoord – a very big club with a lot of pressure.

“It was a club I knew from when I was very young. Those clubs are very similar and hopefully I can bring the same success – as I did with my staff – to Rangers.”