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Van Bronckhorst calling for big performance against Braga

Rangers trail 1-0 after a first-leg defeat in Portugal.

Van Bronckhorst calls for big Rangers performance against Braga in Europa League SNS Group
Van Bronckhorst: Calling for big performance against Braga.

Rangers manager Giovannni van Bronckhorst has called on his players to embrace the challenge of Braga as they look to a secure a place in the semi-finals of the Europa League.

The Ibrox side trail 1-0 from the first leg and the Dutchman is confident his team can overturn this deficit.

He said: ‘’We have a first leg result which I think we can overcome tomorrow.

“It’s a big game which needs a big performance from everyone but I’m confident we can have a good result.

“Tomorrow is a big night for all of us. We should enjoy it and embrace the challenge we are going to face and do everything possible to be in the semis.

“Physically we are ready for the challenge. It’s a big step for all of us at the club to reach the semi-finals. It hasn’t happened a lot in recent years.

“Reaching the semi-finals would be a great achievement.

“I have belief in my team because I know what they are capable of. We’ve shown that against big teams in Europe this season. We can have a better performance than last week – we need that to go through. We need a top performance as a team, but also individually the players need to be ready.’’

Rangers will be backed by a partisan home support at Ibrox and van Bronckhorst believes the home crowd have a huge role to play.

He said: “Our fans are always important. They will be there starting from the warm-up and will be pushing us throughout the game to get a good result.

“The atmosphere we have at Ibrox is fantastic, especially in Europe. They will be our twelfth man and they will, for sure, be supporting us throughout the game.’’

John Lundstram, who has been one of the team’s best players in recent weeks, picked up a groin injury in the 4-0 win over St Mirren on Sunday.

The Rangers manager is hopeful the Englishman will be fit for the second leg, but has revealed Filip Helander’s season is over after the defender sustained a foot injury at the weekend.

He said: ‘’John is training today, so hopefully he’ll pass [today’s session] and be available for tomorrow.

“Filip’s injury is not good. We won’t have him for the remainder of the season. I don’t know yet if he will need surgery, but he has a foot injury.

“All I can say now is we’re going make sure he’s going to be ready for pre- season. He’s had a history with injuries, unfortunately for him and unfortunately also for us to not be able to pick him.‘’