02 February 2022

It looked like our first Old Firm – Van Bronckhorst furious with Rangers display

02 February 2022

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst expressed his disbelief at his team’s first-half display at Celtic Park and admitted they looked like they were not ready.

Celtic swept Rangers aside with three first-half goals before completing a 3-0 victory to move top of the cinch premiership.

Reo Hatate got the opener inside five minutes before netting again and setting up Liel Abada late in the half.

Celtic looked like they could score every time they went forward in the opening period with only Gers goalkeeper Allan McGregor keeping the score down.

“It seemed like it was the first Old Firm we played,” van Bronckhorst told Sky Sports.

“We know what it will bring, the Old Firm, and what you have to do – the environment you go in, the ambience, the pressure you get, everything. But it seemed like we weren’t ready for it.

“You see the way we gave the goals away, it’s the sharpness, I cannot say otherwise, not going with your man, not being ready for the battles.

“I think it was unbelievable, the first half. Our Old Firm game started in the second half, we were much better and much more aggressive, and we played the second half really well. But the first half we gave the game away.

“For sure it wasn’t something I expected, when I saw the training we had, how focused we were before the game.

“But when the game started, we were just waiting for a goal to be scored. For me that’s impossible.

“We were too naive and we deserved to be 3-0 down the way we played.”

The Dutchman was also stunned to see some of his players, including skipper James Tavernier, appealing for referee Bobby Madden to stop the game for a head knock to Calvin Bassey as Hatate lined up his opening goal.

And he had no complaints about Madden like some of his players.

“It’s a decision for the referee to stop the game,” he said. “We still had the corner to defend. The ball goes out and you have to defend the ball.

“You don’t stop when the ref doesn’t whistle, For me, that was unbelievable to see.”

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