Rangers suffer fresh injury doubts as team told to 'park Europe' ahead of Scottish Cup tie
Giovanni van Bronckhorst is only four months into his tenure as manager of the Ibrox club but he is acutely aware of the long wait its expectant support has had to taste success again in the domestic cup competitions.
That’s why van Bronckhorst, twice a Scottish Cup winner as a Rangers player, will set European ambitions firmly to one side this weekend as he takes his squad to Dens Park for Sunday’s quarter-final tie against Dundee.
Rangers have not lifted the country’s oldest trophy since 2009, a hiatus van Bronckhorst is determined to bring to an end at his first attempt in the job. While his Europa League exploits continue to enthrall after Thursday night’s fine 3-0 win over Red Star Belgrade at Ibrox in the first leg of the last 16 tie, the Dutch coach has a trip to Hampden as his immediate priority.
“We are one game away from the semi-final and a cup competition is very important as it is the quickest way to a major prize,” said van Bronckhorst.
“It’s been a while since we won a cup in recent years, so I think we have everything to play for on Sunday.
“It’s for us to park Europe and switch to the domestic cup. We are all preparing well for this game and, again, we have to be there on Sunday and make sure we go to the next round.
“We need to rest well and recover well because it’s only two days (between games). But I think the mindset of the players is fantastic so I don’t have to say anything.
“The players who played against Red Star are in recovery mode today. We trained with the other players and had a good session. Everyone has their own programme to make sure everyone is fresh on Sunday.”
Van Bronckhorst has fresh injury doubts over John Lundstram and Joe Aribo, while their fellow midfielder Scott Arfield is definitely ruled out.
"We have a big squad so when all the pieces are together, we will eventually make up a strong line-up because we want to be in the semi-finals after the game,” he added.
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