Every word of Gio van Bronckhorst’s Rangers press conference as Fashion Sakala question sparks bemused ‘big plane’ quip


Giovanni van Bronckhorst could be the man to lead Rangers to the Europa League final.

There is just the small matter off navigating RB Leipzig on the route to Seville.

The Bundesliga side are the favorites to lift the trophy having topped Atalanta in the previous round, while Rangers are looking to bring back memories of 2008.

If they are to reach the final showpiece they will have to do it without Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe, leading to potential overhaul in formation from the Ibrox boss.

The Dutchman has a chance to look at his options against Motherwell and that could set up a huge chance for the likes of Scott Wright at the RB Arena.

It could be a massive week for the club with Thursday’s first leg in Germany taking place just days before a showdown with Celtic at Parkhead.

Here is every word from Gio van Bronckhorst’s press conference ahead of the clash ahead of the semi final first leg.

What is the latest injury?

“We came through the weekend okay and have no new injuries.

“We still have the same squad available that we had at Motherwell.

“Of course, the injured players are still injured. But there are no fresh injuries from the weekend.”

Do you have big decisions to make over the starting XI?

“Well, not a big decision.

“We have players who are not available. I always watch the opponent and look at which players we have available and make my plans for the games.

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“You know, we showed on Sunday that the players who are in the team can perform as well.

“We need a big performance in this game so there is no big decision for me.

“It’s just about choosing the right game-plan and the players perform well.”

What is the latest on Connor Goldson’s contract talks?

“No, there is no new update.

“We are working in the last weeks of the season and we are fully focused on performing on the pitch so there is no news.”

There had been some doubts on whether Fashion Sakala can travel. Is there any update?

“No, we are going with a big plane. We have a lot of players and a lot of staff. So he’s travelling.”

Will you look to attack or defend against RB Leipzig?

“It depends on the game, of course. You always want to attack and create chances. I think we have shown that in all the games we have had – also away from home.

“We just have to make sure we do the right thing at the right moment.

“I am sure we will have moments when we are defending.

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“But we have to also wait for moments when we can attack and create dangerous chances to score. It’s a semi-final of the Europa League so the level is high and the level that’s needed is also high.

“So we have to prepare well and make sure we have a good result to take back to Ibrox next week.

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“It’s the semi-final of the Europa League so the level is high, the level needed is also high so we have to prepare well and make sure we have a good result to take back to Ibrox for next week.”

Fans booking flights and hotels for the final just in case for the final, does it add to the excitement?

“Of course it is exciting. Playing a semi-final is exciting. Reaching a final is of course very exciting but still we have to overcome the semi-final.

“We have watched Leipzig play a lot of times, we are preparing well for the game, but of course you feel you are coming close to the final. It is still two games to be played and we are going to play against a tough opponent But we will do everything we can and give 100 per cent in both legs to be in the final next week.”

You’ve played in big endings as a player but does this feel different as a manager?

“Of course it feels different because as a coach you are responsible for the team. But what I had as a player I also have as a coach, you have to concentrate on the preparation for games.

“You have to block all the media, block all the pressure you get from outside to win these legs and just concentrate on your preparation and your performance.

“That’s what the players also have to do, make sure we prepare well as normal and when the whistle goes go into the game and give everything you have on the pitch and make sure you have a good result. In that aspect for me it’s no different.”

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Leipzig player Will Orban said they’re knackered, does that impact on your gameplan?

“We just concentrate on our own game. We have also played many games in the last weeks so I think for everyone still involved in Europe, in all the competitions, it’s quite demanding on the squad mentally and physically. In that case it’s the same for all of us.

“We have to make sure we are doing well ourselves and prepare the way we want to play against Leipzig. For me that’s more important than what other players or teams feel.”

What is the main threat of RB Leipzig?

“It’s always a factor when you have a lot of fans traveling with you. We have had that the whole season when we’ve played abroad.

“The fan base who travel with us are amazing. It feels a little bit like playing at home when you are away.

“As for Leipzig I think it is a very strong team, a very attacking team with a lot of pace up front with the strikers.

“It is a very well organized team as we have seen with the games they played against Atalanta.

“We have to prepare well because we are going to play against a very strong team.

“When you play in a semi-final then any team you play is strong, so we just have to prepare well.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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