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Gio van Bronckhorst downplays Rangers winner debate as he makes Fashion Sakala claim

Gio van Bronckhorst enjoyed the best four days of his managerial career and insisted the entire Rangers ‘family’ should celebrate with him.

The Ibrox manager guided his side to a sensational Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Celtic at Hampden just after qualifying for the Europa League quarter-finals by beating Braga.

And with both victories coming after exhausting extra time, the Dutchman made sure that everyone at Ibrox was included in the words of praise he spoke after yesterday’s win.

Van Bronckhorst said: “It was a very proud moment for me to see my side play like this. We had to dig deep after a demanding game against Braga.

“But our character was phenomenal, especially as we knew Celtic were coming at us fresh.

“At the time, the guys did very well.

“If you play Old Firm games with 50-50, the crowds are amazing, especially our crowd. We were behind and they pushed us to continue and try to force a tie.

“You can see the emotion with Sakala’s winning goal and the whole crowd behind the goal celebrating like crazy.

“For those moments, you are a player, a coach, a media guy, a physio, a doctor, if you look at the celebrations that we celebrate as a whole, as a club. These moments are meant to be to celebrate together. But we have to do it again in a month.”

The Dutchman, after beating Celtic, will not accept falling at the last hurdle against Hearts on May 21. Within minutes of this victory, he was setting his sights on the trophies and said: “It’s a proud moment. Of course I won two cups here in my playing career, but if you have these moments as a manager, you are more proud because you are responsible for the result.

“When a team is not playing well, you are also the one who is being watched. It’s a proud moment for me to come back here next month and play in the cup final against Hearts.

“It’s a good game to end the season but, again, the final is only beautiful when you win it.”

The Gers manager was in no doubt that his team deserved their victory, achieved by Scott Arfield missing a nanny against Braga, equalizing before the winner of extra time, claimed by Fashion Sakala, even if it looked like Carl Starfelt hit the ball behind. by Joe Hart. for an own goal.

“I was asking after the game ‘who scored the winning goal?’ he said. “I saw him (Sakala) slipping… but who cares?”

Fashion Sakala brings home the winner of the Rangers

“In the first half we created good scoring chances. But when we got the goal against we knew we had to dig even deeper. But right now we were there.

“The substitutions had quite a positive impact for the team: fresh legs. We control the game after that.

“You know when you’re playing a semi-final and it goes into extra time, the players get tired and they make more mistakes. We know that when we scored in the second half of extra time it was a vital moment. Lucky for us we scored the winner.

“We know that when we play as well as we can, this team has a lot of character. That was what happened today. But also physically I think we looked very strong. Aaron Ramsey was injured, but most of the players also looked very strong during extra time. We were able to change some players. It’s always good to win a semi-final, but it’s good when the substitutes contribute. It was a real team performance and that’s what I’m most proud of.”

The Welshman suffered a hamstring injury that may rule him out of the match, but the picture will be clearer after further examination.

Van Bronckhorst added: “He had a hamstring problem. It didn’t look very good. We will have to value him, but of course it is a setback for us that he is out. “I do not know for how long. We just have to assess him tomorrow and see where he is.”

Otherwise, it was a perfect day for Rangers and their manager admits that after a few days off, his players will be keen to return.

“It’s been a fantastic week for us to win against Braga and win today and reach the cup final,” he said. “The momentum this week has been perfect. We have a lot of games to play in the next few weeks, so it gives us a lot of confidence. But in each game you have to start all over again.

“We are going to use this week to freshen up, recover and rest and make sure everyone is ready for the last few weeks of the season.

“It is good to be involved in these competitions in April and even May. It means that you are doing a good job, but we have to keep going and keep working hard to win something at the end of the season. That’s why we work hard. You go back to the training ground and invest in your own development. That is what we continue to do. But first of all, we will relax.”

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