GIOVANNI VAN BRONCKHORST praised his Rangers players for their best display of the season in the 4-1 victory over hapless Aberdeen at Ibrox.

And the Dutchman, who has been under fire in recent outings, is convinced if his team can stage an action replay at the same venue on Tuesday they will pick up their first win in the Champions League when Ajax provide the opposition in the final match in Group A.

Jim Goodwin’s lacklustre Dons actually took the lead through Connor Barron in the 21st minute, but the hosts hit back to level through Antonio Colak before John Lundstram netted a second in the third minute of first-half stoppage time.

James Tavernier effortlessly outjumped on-loan Celtic defender Liam Scales to head in the third and substitute Alfredo Morelos rolled in a fourth.

ROUND OF APPLAUSE…Giovanni van Bronckhorst shows a sign of his appreciation.

Bronckhorst saluted the character of his team and said: “I think it’s our most complete performance of the season for 90 minutes, so it’s very pleasing, also for the players.

“I’m really satisfied with the display, to play at home against Aberdeen and have 70 per cent of the ball and 35 shots in goal – that is a really dominant performance. We needed a win for so many reasons.

“When you drop points last week and then lose in Naples on Wednesday, you need a performance to keep going and to make sure you continue on a very positive track. We did that so this win brings so many good things for our team.

“It was lightning today. We put a focus on our start in the game.

“I told them to start really well and be aggressive in the first 15 minutes. Every time we start on the front foot it is not only the beginning, but you take it with you throughout the whole game.

POINTING THE WAY AHEAD…the Rangers boss sends out an instruction.

“Tuesday is a different competition with the Champions League again. It’s our last game and we are ready to get the first points of this campaign.

“We have a chance to do so at home against any team. A 90 minute performance like this on Tuesday will give us a chance against a quality opponent. If we win the game we have even points with Ajax and that really shows the strength of this group.”

It wasn’t all good news for the Govan gafer, though, after injuries to Ridvan Yilmaz and Ben Davies against the Pittodrie club.

The Turkish left-back faces at least two weeks out with a hamstring strain while the centre-half will be assessed within 24 hours.

The manager, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “There was no panic when we went a goal down, just kept going and created chances.

“We had a lot of threats going forward and that was really pleasing.

THE ONLY WAY IS UP…Van Bronckhorst watches his side come back after losing the first goal.

“We were aggressive, we won our duels, we kept going forward with every pass that we could and kept them under pressure.

“That is positive and it is also a reminder from my team that they can play like this.”

Tavernier also passed up an opportunity to score with a penalty-kick after referee Nick Walsh, who ignored a valid handball claim from Celtic against Hearts last week, was instructed to check the touchline monitor by the VAR officials after a Dons player deflected the ball onto his own hand.

On this occasion, the whistler pointed to the spot, but the Gers captain smashed the ball off the base of the right-hand post.


About Author


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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