Van Bronckhorst praises Rangers for their 'brave' performance
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst praises Rangers for their ‘brave’ performance against Lyon and admits he is ‘very happy’ to see the squad ‘picking up his style of play’ after just five games in charge
- Rangers drew 1-1 away to Lyon in their final Europa League Group A game
- Giovanni Van Bronckhorst is unbeaten in five matches since replacing Gerrard
- Scott Wright, one of six players introduced to the starting XI, put Rangers ahead
- However, a Calvin Bassey own goal gave the hosts an equaliser after the break
- Van Bronckhorst said he was delighted with the collective display from his team
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst hailed another step forward in his short reign as Rangers manager after a much-changed side ended Lyon’s perfect record in Europa League Group A.
The Dutchman is now unbeaten in five matches since replacing Steven Gerrard thanks to a 1-1 draw in the Groupama Stadium between two teams already assured of progression to the knockout stage.
Scott Wright, one of six players introduced to the starting line-up, put Rangers in front with a deflected first-half strike before a Calvin Bassey own goal gave the hosts an equaliser after the break.
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst hailed another step forward in his short reign as Rangers manager after a much-changed side ended Lyon’s perfect record in Europa League Group A
Van Bronckhorst was delighted with the collective display and felt there were further signs of his ideas being implemented on the pitch.
‘We were very happy with the performance, especially away from home in Europe where it can be really tough,’ he said.
‘Today, of course we faced a tough opponent, but I felt we were very brave. When we had ball possession, we liked to play our possession game from the back and many times we had the right solutions.
‘Overall, I’m really happy with the performance. I think in the second half we didn’t create so many chances.
‘Lyon had some chances also, but I am very happy with the message we showed as a team.
Lyon starting XI: Pollersbeck, Vogel, Da Silva, Lukeba, Henrique; Caqueret, Keita; Cherki, Shaqiri, Ekambi; Dembele.
Subs: Lopes, Bonnevie, Emerson, Aouar, Kadewere, Dubois, Gusto, Slimani, Mendes, Boateng, Guimaraes, Barcola.
Rangers starting XI: McLaughlin, Patterson, Goldson, Bassey, Barisic, Lundstram, Kamara, Wright, Hagi, Kent, Roofe.
Subs: McGregor, McCrorie, Tavernier, Davis, Aribo, Bacuna, Kelly, Arfield.
‘We came here not to defend, we came here to play our game and develop our team because this is only my fifth game in charge.
‘So I’m happy that they are picking up my style of play. In that aspect I am very happy with the performance.’
Allan McGregor, James Tavernier, Joe Aribo, Scott Arfield, Alfredo Morelos and Fashion Sakala all dropped out from the selection that defeated Dundee 3-0 last Saturday.
Arfield and Aribo came off the bench in the second half last night but the others were given a full rest ahead of Sunday’s crunch trip to meet third-placed Hearts at Tynecastle.
‘We are flying straight back to Scotland now to prepare for the game’ said Van Bronckhorst. ‘We are used to the situation.
‘We will do everything we can in terms of recovery then on Saturday we will also prepare tactically for Hearts, which is of course a tough game for us away.
‘But I’m confident about my team and the performance we had today. Just now it’s a case of resting really well and preparing for Sunday.’
Rangers will learn their next Europa League opponent at Monday’s draw. Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Porto, Sevilla and Atalanta are among the Champions League drop-outs potentially lying in wait for a two-legged tie in February.
‘It is an exciting draw,’ said goalscorer Wright. ‘Obviously we are just going to look forward to the game on Sunday now and the next game is always the biggest game here.’
The former Aberdeen winger found the net on his first start since October as a deflection off Lyon defender Damien Da Silva finished a move containing fine build-up play by Ryan Kent and Glen Kamara.
‘I am delighted that it has gone in but I just wish it could have been the winning goal for us,’ added Wright.
‘We wanted to be brave on the ball and control the game as much as we can and I thought we did that for large parts of the game.’
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