Kemar Roofe in Rangers running out of time fear over Europa League Final ‘close call’

Giovanni van Bronckhorst fears Kemar Roofe is running out of time to make it to the Europa League final in Seville.

Roofe was not included in the Dutchman’s squad for last night’s 4-1 romp over Ross County as, once again, Van Bronckhorst was forced to field a side without a recognized center forward.

And with just one week to go before the Rangers’ date with destiny in Spain, Van Bronckhorst admits he still has no idea if the Jamaican international will be fit enough to face Eintracht Frankfurt.

Ryan Jack was also missing from last night’s win but the manager is more confident that medics will clear his midfield linchpin to make the trip as Rangers close in on a first European trophy in 50 years.

He said: “It is going to be a close call for Kemar. So we have to assess him day by day.

“I think Jack is ahead of him. Jack will be ready for next week but I still don’t know about Kemar.”

It was left to Joe Aribo to fill in as a makeshift striker against the Highlanders but the midfield man was taken off as a precaution after just 45 minutes after goals from Scott Wright and James Tavernier had put Van Bronckhorst’s 2-0 up in less than half and hour.

And the manager admitted afterwards that he’s set to send out a shadow XI for Saturday’s final league game at Hearts.

He said: “Yes, you can expect changes.

“It is about finding the right balance. Obviously you want to keep going ,
you want to rest players but it is also important to get the rhythm and keep on playing and I think I saw that in my team today.

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“In the first half we were going at full speed, the rhythm was good, we were creating a lot of chances, there should have been more goals in the first half.

“In the second half we could rotate. It is important this week to give as many players minutes to be ready for the games that come ahead.

“It was a good performance, we wanted to keep winning and keep the momentum going so it was good to start with a strong formation but also rotate again. In the end it was a comfortable win for us.”

Jordan White pulled one back for County in the second half before Rangers subs Fashion Sakala and Amad Diallo wrapped up the points.

And Van Bronckhorst did not rule out Diallo returning to Ibrox next season despite his loan deal from Manchester United expiring in less than two weeks’ time.

He said: “I am happy with Amad, he is getting more minutes in the last weeks. He is training well. He had a moment at the start when he found it a bit difficult because “He was in a new team, an adaptation to a new city but I am really happy with him.

“He is a very good winger as we have seen in the last weeks. We also had a lot of players available in that position who also did well but I am happy with his performance.

“His loan spell is to the end of the season and then he goes back to Manchester. If he is here next year I don’t know.”

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Van Bronckhorst was also full of praise for Wright who has forced himself into contention for a starting place in Seville with a string of impressive recent performances.

He said: “He’s been doing really well. In the beginning when I came, I didn’t get game time. But then he came into the team because he has a lot of strengths.

“He is very fast, very mobile. He can take on players in a one-v-one situation. I’m happy for him because we have been switching our formation a lot, at times we play with a midfield player on the right wing. But I think he can do both.

“His development is that he can play as right winger but is also comfortable now on the inside.”

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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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