Kemar Roofe pushing hard for Rangers return in Seville as Gio van Bronckhorst hopes to count on striker

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Gio van Bronckhorst insists Kemar Roofe is in with a shout for Seville as he vowed to push the boat out to make sure the striker is on the plane for the Europa League final.

Gers were forced to shoot down semi-final opponents RB Leipzig without a recognized frontman after having both top scorer Alfredo Morelos and understudy Roofe ruled out through injury.

Former Leeds and Anderlecht ace Roofe is closer to a return but was absent again as the Ibrox side claimed a 2-0 win over Dundee United.

But Van Bronckhorst is determined to do all he can to get the Jamaica international fit for their date with destiny against Eintracht Frankfurt in 10 days’ time.

He said: “Kemar’s going to work hard to make it.

“Of course he didn’t make it for last Thursday’s game. That means he’s got two weeks to prepare more.

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“All he wants is to be available for those games so he will push himself.

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“My medical staff will do everything possible to get him fit.

“We have to wait and see how it goes but the intentions are there to have him fit.”

Van Bronckhorst was taking no chances with the majority of his key men against United as he made seven changes to the side which swept past Leipzig on Ibrox’s latest Euro epic.

But he did start skipper James Tavernier and his deputy Connor Goldson for a win which ensures Celtic will have to wait until Wednesday’s Tannadice trip to wrap up their title triumph.

However the Dutchman – who saw the captain tuck away his 17th goal of the season with a penalty before Amad Diallo wrapped up victory late on – hinted they may have to take their turn on the sidelines, even if they don’t like it.

He said: “They are two players who have played almost every game so far. They’re important players.

“A lot of players don’t want to rest and want to keep going.

“But for me, I have to take into account the bigger picture. That’s why I’m the manager. So they have to listen.”

Big things were expected of Manchester United loanee Diallo when the £20million Old Trafford kid arrived in January.

But it’s been a largely frustrating spell for the 19-year-old Ivory Coast international.

However, his clincher ensured Gers did not gift their Parkhead foes the title on a plate.

Diallo’s deal expires after the Scottish Cup final on May 21 but Van Bronckhorst was coy on whether he’d make a move to extend his stay.

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Amad Diallo of Rangers celebrates his goal

He said: “Today we could give a lot of players the chance to make minutes. I think Amad is a player who benefits from that. He will get minutes in the last games.

“You could see what he brings to the team. I’m really happy with his performance today and with his behavior overall.

“What happens next season, we haven’t discussed his future.

“Once the decision has to be made about what the squad will look like next year, we will also make a decision about who we want to bring on board.”

Van Bronckhorst also handed teenage defender Leon King his first start while fellow academy graduates Alex Lowry, Charlie McCann and Adam Devine all saw action off the bench as Gers cruised to the points.

The gaffer said: “The remaining two games in the league are to get us as fit as possible as a group for the cup finals.

“I’m very pleased today we could rest some players and give chances to the academy players.

“We have a lot of academy players who are knocking on the door. Alex is the one to get the most chances together with Leon but I think today you saw a glimpse of the future of this club.

“We gave them the chance today because we trust them.”

Lowry – who this week agreed to a new deal tying him to Ibrox until 2025 – added: “Now that the contract’s out of the way, I can concentrate solely on my football. That hanging around for a while wasn’t great.

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“But it’s done now so football is the main thing. I’m looking forward to kicking on and putting in good performances for Rangers.”



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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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