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Giovanni van Bronckhorst turns attention to Hearts after European heartbreak

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst turns attention to Scottish Cup (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst turns attention to Scottish Cup (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Giovanni van Bronckhorst believes his players will be ready for the Scottish Cup final against Hearts on Saturday following their Europa League disappointment.

The Light Blues were shattered physically and emotionally after their 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville on Wednesday night.

It had looked good for the Gers when Joe Aribo opened the scoring in the 57th minute but Colombia forward Rafael Borre levelled in the 68th minute to take the game to extra-time.

Then came penalties where substitute Aaron Ramsey had his spot-kick saved by Frankfurt keeper Kevin Trapp, the hero of the night following his save from Ryan Kent at the end of extra-time.

Gers skipper James Tavernier scored as did substitutes Steven Davis, Scott Arfield and Kemar Roofe while Christopher Lenz, Ajdin Hrustic, Daichi Kamada, Filip Kostic and Borre scored their penalties for Frankfurt, who celebrated while Rangers turned their attention to the final game of the season at Hampden Park and another chance to win silverware.

Van Bronckhorst said: “Of course it’s not going to be easy to get them ready because it’s emotional.

Rangers’ Joe Aribo scores the opening goal
Joe Aribo (right) netted the opener in Seville (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“We are hurt and disappointed. We had the biggest game of the year last night but we have to play on Saturday.

“We are flying back today with only one day to prepare, it will not be easy but we will do it, we will be ready for Saturday and try to end the season with a trophy.”

The former Netherlands captain was pleased with his players’ efforts during 120 minutes in Spain and also in reaching their first final in 14 years.

He said: “It was, of course, a big disappointment.

“If you lose a big final in Europe it will hurt.

“But I can’t complain with what my players gave last night and before last night but in the end it was a really tight game, it went all the way to penalties and we lost.  They gave 100 per cent and that is all you can ask as a coach.”

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