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John Lundstram hails Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s tactical nous ahead of final

John Lundstram is gunning for glory (Jane Barlow/PA)
John Lundstram is gunning for glory (Jane Barlow/PA)

John Lundstram feels Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s tactical nous could be pivotal again in the Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Gers took four points from their first four group games under Steven Gerrard before Van Bronckhorst came in and led them to victory over Sparta Prague to see them qualify.

The Dutchman has since overseen knockout wins against Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, Braga and RB Leipzig and Lundstram feels tactical tweaks have been pivotal.

When asked what the main factors were in their run to Wednesday’s Seville final, the midfielder told Rangers TV: “The togetherness is a massive one and the other massive one is the manager’s tactical awareness.

“In every game of the knockout stages, what the manager has done has been incredible.”

Lundstram made the crucial final difference in Rangers getting to Spain for Wednesday’s showpiece when he netted to seal a 3-2 aggregate win over RB Leipzig in the semi-final second leg.

The former Oxford and Sheffield United player had some challenges in proving himself to the Rangers fans earlier on this season but he has won them round in style with some dominant performances and key goals to become a cult hero.

“Honestly, I fell in love with the club, I fell in love with the city,” the 28-year-old said.

“I’m absolutely loving my time here, I’m loving life living in and around Glasgow.

“Playing in a European final, you can’t top that, there’s not much more you can do unless you play in a World Cup.

“Playing in the Premier League was massive for me but to play in a European final is something you dream of.

“Most kids’ first dream is to become a footballer and play in a European final. To be doing that is just so special.

“You have got to embrace moments like this, they don’t come around very often.

“I don’t think you can have much more encouragement to win a final, you can write your name in history. It’s absolutely huge.”

Tens of thousands of Rangers fans will be in the Andalusian capital on Wednesday, with the vast majority travelling without tickets for the 43,000-capacity Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.

“We know they are travelling out there in numbers and we know how difficult it has been for them to get tickets,” Lundstram said.

“It’s been just as difficult for us to get them for our family and friends to be fair.

“For the lucky ones who do get in, I know they will put on a show. You see the motivation they give us every time we step out. They have been our 12th man this season and been absolutely incredible and won us a lot of games.

“I imagine if they could, they could fill the stadium in Seville two times over, maybe three or four times over. We are just so excited to get out there and perform for them.”