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Giovanni Van Bronckhorst looks ahead to cup finals with title heading to Celtic

Rangers manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst is looking towards the Europa League final (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Rangers manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst is looking towards the Europa League final (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst will use Rangers’ final two cinch Premiership matches of the season to prepare his side for two chances of cup glory.

A much-changed side beat Dundee United 2-0 at Ibrox with ease but the title is on its way to Celtic.

The Dutchman made seven changes following the Europa League semi-final win over RB Leipzig on Thursday night and the hosts got the breakthrough in the 55th minute when skipper James Tavernier scored a penalty.

Half-time substitute Amad Diallo added a second in the 78th minute to reduce the gap behind Celtic to six points with two fixtures remaining but the Hoops have a superior goal difference of 20 which means the title is bound for Celtic Park.

There remains a home game against Ross County and an away trip to Scottish Cup final opponents Hearts to come in the league and Van Bronckhorst turned his attention to the May 18 final against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville which precedes the domestic showpiece finale against the Jambos.

He said: “The remaining two games in the league, they are all in purpose to get us as fit as possible as a group for the cup finals.

“I am very pleased today we could rest some players and give chances to the academy players in the end. Also Leon (King) started.

“So the next 10 days is like finding the right balance between keeping the momentum going but also keeping everyone fresh and ready for the last two games.”

Once again Kemar Roofe was missing as he recovers from a knee injury and Van Bronckhorst insists the striker will continue to work hard to be available for the end of season finals.

He said: “He’s going to work hard to make it. Of course he didn’t make last Thursday’s game. That means he’s got two weeks more to prepare.

“All he wants is to be available for those games so he will push himself.

“My medical staff will do everything possible to get him fit. We have to wait and see how it goes but the intentions are there to have him fit.”

Van Bronckhorst started with King and he brought on fellow youngsters Alex Lowry, Charlie McCann and Adam Devine, the latter making his debut at 19.

He said: “Of course, I’m preparing my team for the last two finals of the season. But I think today you saw a glimpse of the future of this club.

“With Leon King, Alex Lowry, McCann, Devine – those are players who in a couple of years will substitute all the players we have now. It’s a natural process, I think.

“We gave them the chance today because we trust them. They are developing as well as we want.

“Also, they have to keep pushing and keep working hard to become a better player every day.”

United boss Tam Courts was disappointed with his team’s lack of threat but his side remain in fourth place, one point ahead of Motherwell.

The Terrors host champions-elect Celtic on Wednesday night before finishing off against Ross County in Dingwall next Saturday.

He said: “It is fair to open up with the fact that we were beaten by the better team.

“It was a very confident, dominant team that we came up against today and they managed to get into their stride very quickly in the game.

“Probably the main frustration is that we have actually shown bravery, particularly away from home against Celtic and Rangers.

“I am not saying they weren’t brave today, we just couldn’t get any real rhythm in the game and as a consequence of that, we didn’t show anything from an attacking perspective.

“It is the start of a really big week for this football club.

“We always viewed it as such and it is important that we build momentum and maintain confidence. The players are aware of what is at stake this week.”

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