Van Bronckhorst targets 'important' League Cup glory for Rangers

The League Cup was van Bronckhorst's first taste of silverware at Ibrox as a player.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst aiming to win for ‘important’ first trophy of the season in League Cup SNS Group

Giovanni van Bronckhorst is aiming for Hampden in his quest to win the first available trophy of the season in the League Cup.

Rangers host Dundee in the quarterfinals of the competition on Wednesday and the Dutchman is hammering home to his players the importance of getting their hands on silverware as early as possible.

The League Cup was the first trophy the former Netherlands captain won as a player at Ibrox and as he prepares to take on the Championship side in Glasgow he is urging his players to book a place in next year’s semi finals at the national stadium.

He said: “It is one of the two cups in Scotland and it is silverware. It is very important domestic cup competition.

“The expectation has been here for years.

“Even as a player, the first cup I won in 1998 was the League Cup and it is important to give everything in each competition you face.

“We want to win the League Cup but we have to be ready for Dundee. We have analysed them as we normally analyse opponents.

“Tomorrow is another chance to play again. The semi-final is there for us to win and be back at Hampden again so we want to achieve that.”

Van Bronckhorst, who won the Scottish Cup in his first season as Rangers manager, admits that due to injuries and a “demanding schedule” he will reshuffle his side.

He said: “We need to rotate because we lost lot of players in the last weeks through injury, and we need to find a good balance and load for the players because the squad is smaller. We need to be smart to rotate in certain positions.”

Despite reaching last season’s Europa League final, Rangers have struggled in this season’s Champions League with heavy defeats against Ajax, Napoli and Liverpool, leaving them in danger of gaining the unwanted record of “worst ever” team at that level.

Last week’s 7-1 defeat to Liverpool, the joint worst-ever defeat and worst-ever home defeat in the club’s history, leaves them just two more defeats and four more goals conceded to equalling Dinamo Zagreb’s 2012 performance of 0 points and a -19 goal difference.

But van Bronckhorst still believes the Champions League is the place to be for Rangers despite the trauma of this season’s campaign and says the defeats don’t add any more pressure to domestic duties and that maintaining the top competition is always the target.

“No, the pressure is always there,” said van Bronckhorst, who revealed striker Kemar Roofe could make his first appearance of the season against the Championship side after recovering from an unspecified injury.

“Last season we did really well in Europe but we had to concentrate on the domestic league as well. This year is the same. It is a big difference in level we face.

“You want to compete and give everything to reach those levels.

“The easiest thing for us is just to be in the Europa League or Conference League because the opposition is less than we are facing now but that is not what you want as a top player or a manager who wants to be competing with the best.”

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