Skip to main content

Giovanni van Bronckhorst wants European nights to match his playing days

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

New Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst is hoping to savour more European nights at Ibrox like the ones he enjoyed as a player.

The Dutchman starred for Gers between 1998 and 2001, when he played in some memorable matches in continental competition.

His reign as manager kicks off with Thursday’s crucial Europa League match against Sparta Prague.

When asked for his most memorable European games from his playing days, Van Bronckhorst said: “A couple. The Parma game we had (in 1999), qualification for the Champions League was a very good experience.

“We qualified for the group stages against a Parma team full of international stars. I think, for me, it was one of the best nights that I had with Rangers.

“Of course, playing against the likes of Bayern Munich, Monaco, which we want to have again. At that time we could compete with the top clubs and that was good for us as players and also good as a team and, of course, for the club. Good memories in Europe.”

Van Bronckhorst has been busy getting to know his players and implementing his ideas over the last few days.

Asked if he had spoken to Connor Goldson since the defender’s claim in the wake of the Premier Sports Cup semi-final defeat by Hibernian that the team had lost its hunger, Van Bronckhorst said: “Of course. It is obvious that the team wasn’t happy and wasn’t in a good place on Sunday.

“I think it was quite an emotional game for the team and the club being out of the cup after the game. For me the most important thing is to look forward.

“If you might feel that as a player, you need to keep the hunger, keep the desire you have to work hard and that is what I demand from day one. So far it has been really good.

“The most important thing is that you want to be a better team, a better player in the coming days, weeks, months, years and that is what you have to do being part of this club.

“That is what I also demand from all my players. I am looking forward to work with the players also in that aspect for the next months because so far this season we haven’t won anything.

“We were the champions last year, which was a great performance from everyone, but this year is a new year and we have to be there, have to be ready and have to be fully focused for the games that come. I want to be involved in Europe after the winter break so this game is a good chance to make a good step.”