GIOVANNI van Bronckhorst has every ‘belief and confidence' in his Rangers team as they prepare to take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium in Seville.
It’s been 14 years since the last time the Rangers reached a European final and 50 years since club legend, John Grieg, lifted the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in Barcelona in 1972.
As the team prepare for this monumental match, the Rangers boss took some time to recognise the club’s tremendous achievement to reach this stage of the tournament against Oliver Glasner’s men.
When asked at Thursday’s press conference, van Bronckhorst commented: “It means a lot. I’ve had experiences as a player winning major trophies which was always a good feeling, as a manager it’s the same, we now have a chance to win prizes with Rangers – I’m very honoured to play those finals.
“It feels really good. To reach a final is always a good feeling, but you will have a better feeling if you win the final, that’s all we have to do.
“We haven’t achieved anything yet; I think we deserve to be in the final, but I also know that we have to give another good performance on the night to get the trophy.
“They say it’s 50/50 because it can go either way, but I’m confident that we can put on a performance to give us the best possibility to win it.
“We’ve played against strong opponents and beat them, two historic teams with a lot of history are now playing each other so it’s an exciting final.
“I have belief and confidence in my players, they’re really focussed and in a good place physically and mentally. Everything is there to play well against Frankfurt next week and to be part of history with this club.”
Van Bronckhorst reflected on the squad’s impressive European run this campaign and praised the players’ physical and mental efforts to compete in a compact schedule as they look to lift the Europa League trophy on Wednesday.
With one more league match to go against Hearts on Saturday before the team travel to Spain, the Gers boss insisted that it will present the opportunity for some younger players to step up in their final league fixture.
He added: “We’ve played really well. If you look at the last months with how many games we’ve played in Europe and domestically, I think we’re maybe the team that has played the most games this season.
“We’ve had a difficult period with a lot of big games right after each other, we had the Braga home game followed by the semi-final against Celtic was a moment like that.
“The players did really well physically but also mentally, I think that we’re in a good position to play the two big games at the end of the week.
“The Leipzig game at home, that was one of the best nights that I have experienced as a player and manager because we knew we were playing in the final in Seville.
“I think that it’s important to keep going, that’s what we did with the two games against Dundee United and Ross County, we didn’t relax because we needed the same intensity and desire to play against Frankfurt.
“It means a lot. There aren’t many managers in the history who have played a European final, there is only one who has actually won it – I think it would be really fantastic to win the second European in history.”
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