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Mark Hateley insists Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst will need to keep Alfredo Morelos on tight rein

© SNS GroupAlfredo Morelos celebrates with Borna Barisic on Thursday night at Ibrox
Alfredo Morelos celebrates with Borna Barisic on Thursday night at Ibrox

Alfredo Morelos is back on the goal trail – but can new Rangers boss, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, keep him there?

The Colombian’s time at Ibrox has been full of spells where he can’t stop scoring, and other times when he has cut a disinterested figure.

Steven Gerrard was unable to bring a consistency to the game or mood of Morelos.

Now, former Rangers striker, Mark Hateley, believes van Bronckhorst will need to keep a firm grip on the striker.

Ex-Bayern Munich star Roy Makaay is now part of the Ibrox backroom staff, and is expected to work closely with the forwards.

Hateley said: “Alfredo, for me, is one of those players who has to be kept on a tight rein.

“By that I mean, hold him close. But it’s up to the Rangers staff to do that.

“Can Roy Makaay do it? Good luck to Roy!

“Alfredo has brought the criticism upon himself because of the standards he set last season.

“Rangers raised the bar so high, and everyone expects them to follow that. As a professional, you are actually expected to hit that bar, and then go over.

“The fans have seen how good he can be, and they expect Morelos to go again.

“One of Giovanni’s biggest tasks is to get Alfredo back to his best.

“But he needs to get the team back – not just him.

“Giovanni will be looking to get all the Rangers players back hitting the standards they set last season.

“Where is Alfredo in his Rangers career? You better ask him that!

“Who knows, but he took his chances against Sparta Prague the other night.

“The first goal was very good, and that set him up for his performance.

“That’s how it worked out for Alfredo, and his start to the game allowed him to build.

“He did the right things, he got his goal and the advice I would give to him is to keep focusing on that.”

© Colorsport/Shutterstock
Mark Hateley in his playing days

Hateley, unlike Morelos, was never criticised for his work-rate during two spells with Rangers.

He said: “I don’t want to judge anyone on my career because that would be hard to do, trust me!

“But yeah, you need to have a high standard.

“My standard was always high. I wanted to be the fittest and strongest I could be.

“Doing that constantly was always my way, but other people don’t think like that.”

Hateley expects van Bronckhorst to look abroad for new recruits in January.

He added: “I came to Rangers when I was 28, and I had already been abroad and learned a lot.

“Things are different now. The club is different, but it’s a platform for younger players.

“You get the chance to play in Europe, and that is where you are judged.

“I think Giovanni will explore the markets he knows. He would be daft if he didn’t. He has connections and contacts and that’s where you go.”


Hitting The Mark, by Mark Hateley with Alistair Aird. Published by Reach Sport, priced £18.99.