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Scottish Cup final: Proud Giovanni van Bronckhorst targets more silverware after Rangers cup joy

© PARangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst lifts the Scottish Cup
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst lifts the Scottish Cup

Giovanni van Bronckhorst last night picked up his first piece of silverware as Rangers boss and then pledged to get his hands on more.

The Dutchman, appointed as successor to Steven Gerrard last November, pumped the air in jubilation as he watched his side beat Hearts at Hampden to win the Scottish Cup.

“It means a lot. It’s always good to win prizes,” he said.

“For the players today it’s a reward for all the hard work over the months.

“I’m happy with the performance. In
extra-time we looked strong again and we could feel the game going our way.

“I’m proud to end the season with a trophy, which is a real positive.

“Now we will rest and then in five weeks start over again to win more prizes.

“There was so much desire today, no tiredness.

“It’s been a demanding week. We had the build-up to the Europa final in difficult circumstances.

“Then mentally the loss was big – because we lost on penalties.

“We flew back and had to say farewell to Jimmy Bell.

“We trained in the afternoon then had our meeting for the game.

“Again, I told them it was a chance to win something.

“We had to look forward after Wednesday and move on. That is what they did today.

“There were some moments I didn’t agree with the ref but you don’t have to agree with all of the decisions.

“It’s difficult for refs – it’s a final with a lot of pressure.

“I saw him (Atkinson) pulling the shirt and that’s the reason why he (Aribo) couldn’t shoot cleanly on goal.

“But I’m happy with the win and that their hard work has been rewarded with a trophy.”

The Rangers manager had special praise for his “cup keeper” Jon McLaughlin whose gesture to the bench allowed to Allan McGregor to come on and take a bow.

“It was a nice sign from Jon. He told me when the result was there for us that he’d give up his place for Allan. It was a nice gesture from him.”

McGregor’s contract is up in the summer and speculation has been rife the 40-year-old will soon announce his retirement.

“We’ll sit down with Allan and see how his future is. I’m happy for him that he won a trophy,” said Van Bronckhorst.

“With Allan McGregor – it’s for the club. It’s not often you have players at 40 years old. It’s amazing how he’s performed.

“Talks will go on once the season has ended. We’ll see what will happen.

“I think there will be changes this summer. I’m not sure if out-of-contract players will sign new ones.

“Players have the chance to move for another challenge but they always want stability for their futures.

“Hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll know if we can extend or look for other players.”

Jon McLaughlin and Allan McGregor swapped places for the final moments at Hampden (Pic: Craig Foy / SNS Group)

As things stand, though, he is a happy man with Calvin Bassey also picked out for praise.

“I’m a big fan of Calvin, his first action in this stadium when I watched him was the loss to Hibs.

“But I saw something in him that you rarely see in someone his age. He’s mature, strong and powerful. It’s a pleasure for me to work with him and to work with him in future to make him stronger.

“His development this season has been tremendous, especially with Europe. Today he was impressive again. He’s had great end to season.”

“We have character in this team. In difficult moments we rise up and go again.

“It’s important that when we’re down we always have the support of our fans and we come back stronger.

“To end the week with a trophy is very positive.”