Giovanni van Bronckhorst says Rangers hope to avoid fixture congestion

Gers have some huge games ahead.

By Press Association Published: 16 April 2022 - 11.15am

Giovanni van Bronckhorst says Rangers have asked the Scottish Professional League to help alleviate fixture congestion amid their on-going Europa League run.

After taking on Motherwell in the cinch Premiership at Fir Park next Sunday, the Gers face Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig in the first leg of their European semi-final in Germany the following Thursday, April 28.

Before the return game at Ibrox a week later, the Light Blues travel to Celtic Park on Sunday, May 1, with the Hoops currently six points ahead of the Light Blues at the top of the table with five fixtures remaining.

In 2008, Rangers believed they did not get enough breathing space with regards fixtures when they reached the UEFA Cup final against Zenit St Petersburg in Manchester, which they lost 2-0.

Ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic at Hampden Park on Sunday, the Gers boss was asked about the scope to change fixtures to help his side in their two semi-final games.

Van Bronckhorst said: “I think we are having talks now. There are a lot of games to be played and you have seen in other countries where a lot of games are moved, different dates or even kick-off times were changed.

“I think we just want to do the best for Scotland, that’s why are still involved in Europe and getting a lot of points for everyone really, in this country.

“So hopefully the SPFL is also helping us to perform as good as possible in Europe and also make sure we have time enough as well to rest
for the games we have to play in Scotland.

“Of course, we can have the request and I think that’s what we are doing at the moment but in the end the SPFL has to agree and make sure the fixtures are moved.

“We will do everything we can to do so but the final call is the SPFL’s.

“In other countries, the FAs are moving the dates so the only thing that can happen is they agree and that’s what we are waiting for.”

Van Bronckhorst believes the exhausting 3-1 extra-time win over Braga at Ibrox on Thursday night – to go through to the semi-finals with a 3-2 aggregate – will give his side a boost going into the game against their Glasgow rivals.

He said: ” We are through to the semi-final of Europe and it was a great night on Thursday and it gives us a lot of positive momentum.

“I think that’s very positive going into the game tomorrow. We don’t have any injury doubts. We have everyone available so we are happy with the squad.

“It was a tough and demanding game physically but we have enough time to recover from that.

“We will have to wait until the final session later but we have everyone on board.”

Van Bronckhorst was asked about any concerns around defender Connor Goldson who is out of contract at the end of the season.

He said: “I’ve never experienced in my coaching career when a player is out of contract that it affects them.

“It’s a circumstance that’s happening a lot. Connor is handling it really well.

“He’s performing well and it doesn’t have a negative influence on him and it definitely hasn’t had a negative influence on me.

“It’s just the way it is in football where you have to perform no matter what.

“Especially in a club the size of Rangers. He’s been doing that and winning games to bring success to this club.”

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