Giovanni van Bronckhorst has said that everyone at Rangers was shocked and “down” after hearing news of colleague Jimmy Bell’s sudden death but that the team would give everything to turn around the Europa League tie against RB Leipzig to “make Jimmy proud”.
Rangers announced the death of kitman Bell on Tuesday morning as the first team squad were preparing for Thursday’s second leg match. There will be a minute’s silence ahead of kick-off at Ibrox.
Van Bronckhorst said that football was put to one side as the staff came together and shared their memories of their colleague.
“We were all very shocked about the news that Jimmy passed away and it was a hard day for all of us,” the Rangers manager said. “I think everyone was was really down, which you can imagine.
“So yesterday we didn’t do a lot. We were all at the training ground but of course, the the atmosphere was very, very down and still in shock.”
“You know, spirit’s high. I mean, I don’t think we had the feeling, you know, that we had to keep our keep our spirits high yesterday.
“We talked about him and we shared stories we had with Jimmy, our personal stories. And today we look we look at Leipzig tomorrow.
“It was a really big game already. But we all very determined to to go out tomorrow and give everything we can to make everyone proud and especially tomorrow make Jimmy proud.
“So, today we are back and we’re going to try to prepare as good as possible for tomorrow.”
Club captain James Tavernier said: “Yesterday was difficult to take.”We all mourned Jimmy and obviously people are still doing it now, but I know Jimmy wouldn’t want the fuss.”He would want us to roll our sleeves up and get stuck in tomorrow.”We want to do it for the club, for the fans and for Jimmy.”
The Rangers boss has his players back in training today and says injured players have still to be assessed ahead of a game that the team need to win in order to reach the final in Seville.
Kemar Roofe and Aaron Ramsey both missed the first leg and will be given every chance of making the squad for Thursday at Ibrox.
“It depends how the training will go,” Van Bronckhorst said. “When they got injured we all knew that they would work towards the game tomorrow.
“Of course I will wait as long as possible, but the most important thing for me is that they are physically able to play a part in tomorrow’s game, that is always the deciding factor.
“We still have one day to prepare. Today will be an important day for both. I cannot tell you if they are in the squad for tomorrow or not.”