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Rangers seek Scottish Cup silver lining after Europa pain


Glasgow (AFP) – Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst believes his side will ultimately benefit from their agonising penalty shoot-out defeat in the Europa League final when they look to lift the Scottish Cup on Saturday.

The Glasgow giants saw their bid for European silverware end in the searing heat of Seville on Wednesday as Eintracht Frankfurt got the better of them 5-4 on penalties after the teams had been locked at 1-1 come the end of extra time.

Rangers have had only a few days to recover physically and mentally from a heartbreaking reverse ahead of facing Edinburgh club Hearts in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park.

The Gers will be without Borna Barisic after the defender went off injured in Spain but Van Bronckhorst, looking to rally the remainder of his squad, told reporters on Friday: “We had a tough game, playing 120 minutes in very difficult circumstances, but we had a good recovery today and all players who were involved on Wednesday except Borna are available tomorrow (Saturday).

“I have a lot of confidence in my team and their ability to regroup and recover from big games.

“The final was a big game for us and we didn’t get the outcome we wanted, but overall it was a good experience for my team to play in such a big game.”

Van Bronckhorst added: “When you are in finals and you come so far and are very close to achieving silverware, the disappointment will be very big.

“But we have another very important game tomorrow that can mean we win silverware this season. That is our focus now and I have full confidence my team will be ready when the whistle goes.”

Saturday’s match could be Connor Goldson’s last for the Gers after four years at Ibrox.

The 29-year-old centre-back is out of contract at the end of the season and he has yet to sign a new deal.

“The club has been in talks to extend his contract, but so far he has not extended it,” said Van Bronckhorst. “The chance he will still be a Rangers player I think will be small.”

Veteran goalkeeper Allan McGregor is also about to see his contract expire and the 40-year-old may have already played his last game in Rangers blue, with Van Bronckhorst preferring deputy Jon McLaughlin for Cup games this term.

“I’ve started Jon in the Scottish Cup campaign this year and he did well, especially in the semi-final against Celtic, so for me it would be strange to change him,” said Van Bronckhorst.

“It’s a difficult one because Allan is our number one goalkeeper, but he was very thoughtful and totally understands that Jon has been playing in the Cup.”

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