Giovanni van Bronckhorst says belief is growing as Rangers make Europa League progress

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst declared their Europa League belief was growing after knocking out Red Star Belgrade to seal a quarter-final place.

Gers lost 2-1 in Serbia but the home team only got their second goal from a stoppage-time penalty after Ryan Kent’s 56th-minute equaliser had proved the key moment of the second leg.

A 4-2 aggregate victory put Rangers into Friday’s draw, where they are joined by the likes of RB Leipzig, Barcelona, Atalanta and Braga.

“I’m very proud,” Van Bronckhorst told BT Sport. “It’s a great achievement to reach the last eight.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst

“The belief is only getting stronger. We take it round by round and there are some big names left in the draw.

“But again it’s two big games to develop ourselves as a team and to go one stage further will be the goal, but the opponent will be stronger each round we go.

“We have had some good results, especially the result in the last round against Dortmund, that’s a result which the whole of Europe thinks about. It was an amazing accomplishment for us.

“Red Star, it’s very complicated to come here, but we had a good foundation with the 3-0 win last week and we played very well here and concentrated.”

Mirko Ivanic gave Red Star hope when he netted following a 10th-minute corner and Allan McGregor made several excellent stops before Kent scored via a deflection following a one-two with Glen Kamara near the halfway line.

“We said before the game we knew it was going to be difficult,” Van Bronckhorst said.

“I think we started really well. They weren’t in the game but one set-piece gave them the belief. When you score early, it always gives you belief.

“The second half we scored at the right time, they were pushing us really hard for a second. But at 1-1 you saw the belief for them getting weaker. We could have scored a second as well.

“We defended really well second half, we didn’t give any space. They were looking for the ball behind the defence all the time so we pushed Calvin (Bassey) inside to play three against two and let Ryan mark his full-back. I think that went really well second half.”

The Dutchman praised his former team-mate, McGregor, who showed his ability over both legs after some had questioned the 40-year-old’s position as number one following some costly mistakes in domestic games.

“At moments he needs to be there, he is there, and had some good saves again,” the Rangers boss said.

“I’m really happy with his performance and what he gives the team, even at his age he is still important for us.

“I am more than happy for him and every player because we gave everything to make the club proud.”