Devastated & exhausted Rangers must lift themselves for Hearts

Devastated & exhausted Rangers must lift themselves for Hearts
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 05: Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Manager of Rangers looks on during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final Leg Two match between Rangers and RB Leipzig at Ibrox Stadium on May 05, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

As we all know, unfortunately our boys in blue weren’t able to bring the trophy back to Ibrox, and there are some implications.

We lose out on that coveted UCL seeded spot, and we also somehow have to pick ourselves off the floor and muster one last push to at least snare one trophy in the Scottish Cup.

For now, it’s all about Saturday, about trying to overcome Hearts.

Sadly, we just do not know where the squad will get the energy from to face a fresh Hearts side desperate to win.

Yes, we’re a far better side and comfortably put them away in the league last week, but that was a dead rubber, and this one means a lot more.

The players will not only be devastated, but they’ll be absolutely exhausted, not just with the epic they’ve lost but the travelling and the emotions of Jimmy’s funeral as well.

It doesn’t really bode well for Saturday at all, in truth, and while we’re not waving a white flag, it’s going to take a huge effort to at least lift this silverware with just two days’ recovery, barely even one if we’re including Jimmy.

Rotation will be key, we’ll need fresh bodies for Saturday because a lot of the players from Thursday were dead on their feet by the end.

We expect Aaron Ramsey, Alex Lowry, Kemar Roofe et al to play big parts in this one, because the same team again on Saturday would be a superhuman effort that we don’t think the familiar XI has.

Hearts aren’t great shakes compared with Rangers, but against a low morale and exhausted Ibrox side, they will smell blood.

Gio will have to be very careful with how he manages this one.

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  1. I’m not too concerned physically but mentally they will be in the gutter. I know I am and I’m not sure I can raise the spirits for Saturday. I would expect McLaughlin to start with ever present Tavernier and Goldson, Bassey will be left back for an injured or knackered Barisic and a fresh Balogun will come in. I think Lundstram and Jack have become key players and must start though a relatively fresh Davis might nab one of those spots for a possible farewell appearance. After that who knows. Fresh legs like Ramsay, Diallo, Roofe, Arfield and Lowry will surely be in contention. That would give us 5 or 6 fresh players to add to the 5 or so that seem to be able to handle the physical pressure. Whatever team it is will be more than good enough to beat Hearts if their heads are sorted. Or we can just send out the reserves again.

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