Rangers in Holland – how Gio can give PSV a Ruud awakening

Rangers in Holland – how Gio can give PSV a Ruud awakening
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 16: Antonio-Mirko Colak of Rangers celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off First Leg match between Rangers FC and PSV Eindhoven at Ibrox Stadium on August 16, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

So, now that we’ve all whined excessively (warranted) about dropping our first points of the season at Hibs, how do we recover from this and pull off Mission Impossible and win in Holland?

PSV, of course, will be a tonne fresher than us because they got this weekend postponed, wisely. They had no distractions and are focused only on beating us on Wednesday.

So our morale could be better, and our performances haven’t been up to scratch.

Ergo how do we flip this around?

Well as we all know, this Rangers lifts itself hugely for big European games. The first half performance against PSV was actually pretty good, but it showed some idea of how good PSV are that Rangers showing some form at home even in Europe wasn’t anywhere near good enough to take a lead of any description to Holland.

Which means Gio has to defy his own rotten career away record in Europe as a manager, and Rangers will have to win for only the second time on our travels under this boss.

Can that be done?

PSV showed power, pace, strength, team work and technical quality, so to overcome a superior side the only way past them is sheer graft.

In other words, you can put down all the tactics in the world, but they’re not going to get Ryan Kent past Teze if the defender is just going to bat him away.

Instead, Rangers need to exploit our well-earned reputation for rolling our sleeves up.

We cannot beat PSV man-for-man because we are not good enough – but we can work harder than them and take our chances should they come up.

Look at Malmo – they are one absolute guff side, but while Rangers probably had the best of that tie last year, it was the Swedes who worked harder and took their chances, by way of our man Colak.

It’s not who plays better football at this point, it’s who wants it more.

And Rangers’ players need to graft harder than they have for years.

The last time we worked exceptionally hard was in the UEL final – and we surpassed our opponent for work ethic, falling only to penalties. We were not up to Frankfurt’s level for quality, but for graft we outdid them.

In the end it wasn’t enough on that occasion, but in Holland, with an actual striker in our side, we do actually have a chance.

Rangers lacked a hitman in Europe basically from March onwards, but it fell short when it truly counted in the final.

But having one on Wednesday ready to lap up any chances he gets could seriously help us.

We can’t pretend to have all the answers for Gio, he is paid the big bucks to sort this out, and we wish him the best of luck in doing so.

But for Rangers to go to Holland and secure that UCL place will require one of the greatest Euro wins against the odds in our history. We can do it, with a huge amount of work, and a striker who can score.

But every player will need to give 150% for us to have that chance.

Over to you Rangers.

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  1. How do we get a result at PSV?
    We need McLaughlin to turn into McGregor at his best, we need Goldson to have the game of his life, we need Sands to turn into Richard Gough, we need Barisic to work with Sands and show he can defend, we need Lundstram and Jack to find their best form, or maybe a rejuvenated Steve Davis instead of Jack, we need Lawrence to turn up, we need to get service into Colak, and finally and most importantly we need Ryan Kent to find the spirit of Dortmund. If we can do all that AND work bloody hard then we might escape with a narrow defeat. It’ll be another tilt at the Europa League for us. Not what we want but not the worst place to be.

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