Giovanni van Bronckhorst tells Rangers players to improve for clash with Napoli | Rangers

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has challenged his Rangers players to respond to hurt criticism following back-to-back heavy defeats when Napoli visit Ibrox. Rangers have conceded eight goals without reply at Celtic and Ajax. then the Serie A leaders. Van Bronckhorst was defiant against suggestions he should change his coaching approach.

“Three weeks ago we qualified for the Champions League, everything was good,” said the coach. “Everyone was praised: the team, the staff, the club. We’re doing well. Two defeats later it looks like we haven’t played in the last two years. This is the dynamic of football.

“I’m not changing anything about my philosophy, how I want to play. Of course there is much room for improvement. I think the most disappointing thing about the last two games is that we didn’t play. That’s the frustration I have, certainly the players have because we’ve talked about it, something that needs to change.”

This implied that Van Bronckhorst believes the collective attitude was Rangers’ problem. Napoli’s domestic form is quite remarkable even before taking into account Liverpool’s 4-1 defeat in the Champions League. Rangers must somehow build on last season, when Borussia Dortmund were among the teams eliminated as Van Bronckhorst guided his side to the Europa League final.

“If I look at my team last week and see the performances of my players, I can pick out six or seven who were not up to their level,” he said. “We need the performance level of the players to be higher, as well as the level of our team, otherwise we will also struggle with Napoli. But I’m sure after the week we had, the preparation, and of course the experience of the game last week, we’ll be in a much better place tomorrow. But of course there is time for a performance and that is tomorrow from 20:00″.

Rangers goalkeeper Alan McGregor
Allan McGregor to play against Napoli as first-choice goalkeeper John McLaughlin injured Photo: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

The Rangers will be without the injured Jon McLaughlin, who Van Bronckhorst has used as his starting goaltender this season. Alan McGregor will be the deputy. The manager suggested he may hand a recall to Alfredo Morelos, who was recently dropped from the squad over fitness and conduct concerns.

Napoli arrived in Scotland without the prolific Victor Osimhen, who limped off in the first half of the win over Liverpool. Giovanni Simeone is expected to start at centre-forward.

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