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Van Bronckhorst calls for unity despite Old Firm friendly backlash

Rangers manager calls for supporters to focus on backing the team during the league run-in.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst calls for unity from Rangers support despite Celtic friendly backlash SNS Group

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has called for the Rangers support to unite behind the team as they enter the business end of season.

Fans have been unhappy after the Old Firm announced they’ll face-off in a friendly in Australia in November.

The plans were met with widespread criticism from both supports, with Rangers fans groups labelling the venture “disgusting” and “despicable”.

But with just nine league matches remaining and three points off Celtic at the top of the table, van Bronckhorst urged supporters to focus on supporting the team in their quest to retain the title.

Ahead of Saturday’s league visit of Aberdeen, the manager said: “My message is clear – we need all the support we have, which the supporters gave us last Wednesday.

“Of course, they are entitled to their opinion. They weren’t happy with the friendly obviously, but they also supported us.

“In the end, we have to be successful, I think they are more than capable of supporting the team because we want to be successful this season.

“I have no doubt the supporters will be fully behind us against Aberdeen and that’s all that matters.

“They showed they aren’t happy about the friendly we are going to play in November, but still they are backing us as a team and a club.”

Rangers and Celtic are to take part in the inaugural Sydney Super Cup when domestic football shuts down for the Qatar World Cup in November, alongside Australian A-League sides Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers.

On the friendly itself, van Bronckhorst believes it is a positive move for the club.

He said: “We know there’s going to be a big gap during the World Cup. The club is looking for friendly games, not only in that window, but the international windows we have.

“I think it’s an opportunity for the club to go there, to play for our fans in Australia and the club has made the decision because they do everything in the best interest of the club.

“For me, we just have to respect that decision and play a good couple of friendlies in Australia.”