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Goldson out until next year, but under-fire Rangers boss vows to fight through the crisis

© Craig Foy / SNS GroupConnor Goldson after sustaining the thigh injury that has laid him low
Connor Goldson after sustaining the thigh injury that has laid him low

Giovanni van Bronckhorst will be without key man Connor Goldson for several months.

But the under-pressure Rangers boss is confident he will still be in charge of the team when the defender returns to fitness.

Many fans, angered by the embarrassment of suffering a 7-1 Champions League thrashing by Liverpool, were questioning if van Bronckhorst was the man to take their club forward.

The 47-year-old understands that managers are often left in a precarious position after a heavy defeat. But the Dutchman is confident that he has the full backing of the Ibrox board.

Dundee United sacked Jack Ross after a 9-0 thumping by Celtic, while English Premier League side Bournemouth fired Scott Parker after his side lost nine goals against Liverpool.

Van Bronckhorst said: “It can definitely be a crazy thing when you see the changes of managers.

“That’s the position we are in as managers, but I never think of moments like that to be fired.

“What I really like is the backing of my directors because I have a feeling we are all in this together.

“We all work hard to bring success back to this club, and that will go with highs and lows.

“Last Wednesday was definitely a low for all of us, but I have a feeling that in this club, we win together and lose together.

“I also know that, as a manager, you have to perform and bring success to the club. That’s definitely the case when you are manager of Rangers.”

Giovanni van Bronckhorst had to endure a chastening night as his side shipped seven goals to Liverpool (Pic: Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Losing Goldson, who has been the first name on the team-sheet since he arrived at Ibrox, is a major blow.

Van Bronckhorst will also be without Ryan Jack for an extended period after he also suffered a muscle injury.

And central defenders Filip Helander and John Souttar won’t be back until after the World Cup.

The Rangers manager admits that bringing in a free agent could be possible, but it’s not something he is considering at present.

He is hopeful that Ben Davies will be able to line up against Motherwell this afternoon, despite the Englishman taking a knock against Liverpool.

Striker Kemar Roofe, meanwhile, could feature in Wednesday’s Premier Sports Cup game at home to Dundee.

The issue of players who are out of contract at the end of this season is one the manager prefers to move in the direction of Sporting Director, Ross Wilson.

There has been no news about Ryan Kent or Alfredo Morelos extending their time at Rangers beyond next summer.

Van Bronckhorst said: “You have to speak about contract talks with Ross. “Of course, you want your players to sign contracts sooner rather than later, but you need two sides to agree.

“At the moment, I don’t know the status.”

Does he believe that either man’s form is being affected by the contract situation?

“I don’t think so,” said the Dutchman. “Ryan is in and out of the game. He is improving his performances, but I don’t think that is due to his contract talks.

“Alfredo is different because he came from a long-term injury.”

Van Bronckhorst has no complaints about the backing he got to assemble a squad this term, but admits that it’s no surprise the club finds it tough in the Champions League group stage.

He said: “We had our squad quite early. It was built to qualify for the Champions League which, in the end, we did, which was very positive.

“The injuries we have had, and also the level we compete against, have made it very difficult.

“Against Napoli, we played really well. Only after three penalties and a red card, we didn’t win the game.

“Against Liverpool, you see the difference home and away.

“Overall, I think we competed much better in the home game. But we had a bigger defeat.

“The difference between the first 60 minutes and the last 30 minutes was too much.

“I think we can compete with the teams on the night. But to compete in the Champions League, longer term, is difficult.”