GUTTED Giovanni van Bronckhorst has issued a rallying call to Rangers after the 2-1 setback against Celtic at Ibrox yesterday.

The Govan gaffer accepted it was a game his team had to win to prevent Ange Postecoglou’s men doubling their advantage at the top of the Premiership to six points with six games to play.

Even the massive boost of taking a third-minute lead through Aaron Ramsey couldn’t inspire the Dutchman’s players who were a goal adrift at the interval after Tom Rogic had equalised only four minutes later and Cameron Carter-Vickers rattled in the winner.

There was no further scoring in the second-half and the only time Joe Hart was troubled was 15 minutes from time when he had to swoop to his left to push away a stinging low drive from Fashion Sakala.

BEWILDERED…Giovanni van Bronckhorst looks astonished on the Ibrox touchline.

Van Bronckhorst, who saw the team thrashed 3-0 at Parkhead in February, remained defiant, though, and he said: “We need to keep on going. The emotions in football are highs and lows.

“Any football player will feel that, the days when you are very disappointed in the result.

“But there is still a lot to play for. Take this loss and disappointment, recover and be ready again on Thursday for Braga. It’s another big game and we have to prepare well.

“You feel disappointment, but you have to stand up. Of course, a loss in an Old Firm game is always very disappointing, but we have to keep going.

“It’s almost the end of the season with a lot of games to be played in a lot of competitions. So we have to prepare and that’s all we will do.”

OH, NO…Giovanni van Bronckhorst can hardly bear to watch.

From six points ahead when they returned from the winter break, Van Bronckhorst has watched his team overtaken by the Hoops who have now gone a remarkable 32 domestic outings without defeat after losing three of their first six Premiership games.

Van Bronckhorst, speaking to the Daily Record, stressed: “It was a game we had to win.

“In the end, when we don’t win it, then it’s a big disappointment for us.”

Asked to explain to the fans how his side had allowed to drop a succession of points, the Gers boss snapped: “They watch the games, no?

“They watch the games and saw what happened in those games.

“We didn’t take the chances we had. We had some decisions not go in our favour and then in the end, when you draw and lose points, you don’t take the chances you get.

END GAME…Ange Postecoglou attempts to console Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

“That’s why we lost a lot of points which was unnecessary, I think.

“If you keep losing points like that then you are trailing Celtic now by six points.

“Those are the facts and we cannot change them.”

Van Bronckhorst added: “I think we pressed really high, all over the pitch. I think it was better in the second half. We pushed more forward.

“Celtic are always dangerous in transitions, so we took a little bit of a risk. The second-half, we played almost the whole game in their half and trying to push for the second goal, which eventually didn’t fall.

“I think the way we gave these goals away shouldn’t happen, but it happened a lot of times, too many times for us in the last couple of months in games.

“That cost us some very important points.”



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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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