Giovanni Van Bronckhorst confident in rattled Rangers squad ahead of Ajax tie

·3-min read

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst backed his rattled Rangers squad ahead of their opening Champions League Group A fixture against Ajax on Wednesday night.

There was some criticism when the Gers boss did not add to his group in the latter stages of the transfer window, after bringing in seven players earlier and that surfaced again at the weekend following their trouncing by Celtic.

A horror show at Parkhead saw the Light Blues lose 4-0 to leave them trailing the champions by five points at the top of the cinch Premiership after only six fixtures.

Asked in the Johan Cruyff Arena press conference if he had regrets at not making more signings before deadline, the Dutchman said: “I have no regrets at all. None. Otherwise I’d have brought in other players.

“We had a lot of players going out, a lot of players coming in. I believe in this squad and we’ll keep going.

“Of course there is talk about new players in and out and it seems (everyone thinks) we have lots of money now in the bank, which is not the case.

“We have to keep going and we have to make sure we make this squad we have now stronger in our development.

“We’ve developed over the past years, not only with me but with Steven (Gerrard) in the years before.

“We have developed players who started at a lower level who have reached the highest levels in their careers.

“Calvin (Bassey) is a great example of that because he’s playing now for Ajax having had a tremendous development with us.

“That’s the way we work at this club and I’ll continue working with this team, improving them in every way I can and to make sure we have the success we all want in the future.”

Van Bronckhorst believes his new additions needs time to get used to their team-mates.

He said: “That’s normal when you have new players coming in. We have to develop as a team again.

“We start with (Antonio) Colak, then Tom Lawrence came into the squad. Unfortunately he’s injured now.

“Then there’s Malik (Tillman) so we have additions who have adapted really quick.

“But still there is loads of improvement for them, personally but also for us as a team.

“I’m sure we will develop as a team in the coming weeks and months.”

Van Bronckhorst also suggested that he would keep faith with under-fire goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin who was given the nod over 40-year-old Allan McGregor this season to some debate.

The former Hearts and Sunderland stopper was culpable in the defeat by Celtic, particularly with the last goal which arrived when he passed the ball straight to Hoops substitute David Turnbull, who returned the ball into the net.

Asked if McLaughlin was still number one, he said: “I’ve spoken with Jon and I’ve spoken with the team about how we played, the way we conceded goals and what we need to improve, what went wrong. It’s a normal process.

“You cannot change every time you have a defeat. You cannot change everything because you have to stick to your beliefs and your way of playing.

“If there is a defeat, the first thing you do as a manager is to reflect on your own decisions. That’s where it starts and that’s what I want my players to do as well.

“Many things went wrong, so I could change everything from Saturday and play with a different team tomorrow; different tactics but I think you have to keep hold of your way of playing.

“You keep trusting your players and give them confidence because in the past we have bounced back from heavy defeats and that’s what we have to do tomorrow as well.

“The execution we had on Saturday was below par – far below par. That’s what I want to see different tomorrow.”