Scott Arfield ‘dialled in’ at Rangers
Having played nine games in 32 days under Giovanni van Bronckhorst since he became Rangers manager, there has been precious little time on the training pitch for the Ibrox squad to assimilate the methods and strategies of the Dutchman and his coaching staff.
It has proved no barrier to progress for the Scottish champions who racked up eight wins and a draw in that sequence of games, results which earned them a six-point lead at the top of the Premiership table and a place in the Europa League knockout round play-offs.
Van Bronckhorst has shown that his communication skills are just as effective in the video analysis lecture theatre inside Rangers’ training centre as they are on the grass.
“He has been brilliant and I think it has been quite seamless in terms of the transition coming in,” says midfielder Scott Arfield. “He has got his messages across and we have had to do so much of the actual outside coaching on the inside and on the screen and seeing it, with the volume of games we have had.
“So we have had to be dialled in.
“That has been a bit different for us as normally you have a pre-season or January break where you can get on the grass and really learn those methods.
“But we have seen it in videos how he wants us to play and, while it has not been drastically different, there have been differences within that with different personnel and it has been enjoyable so far.
“We have had that bounce and we have kicked on, plus we have a big game in February in the Europa League to look forward to as well.”
That tie against Borussia Dortmund, with the first leg in Germany on February 17, is a mouth-watering prospect for the Rangers players and supporters as they look ahead to the second half of the season.
Arfield and his team-mates will have domestic matters to primarily focus on when they return to training on January 5 after the current rescheduled winter break for Premiership clubs.
But while away fixtures against Aberdeen and Celtic will initially dominate their agenda as they resume their title defence, Arfield feels the two-legged showdown with Dortmund is something to be relished.
While the Bundesliga giants are among the clubs most fancied to win the Europa League this season, Arfield believes Rangers are capable of toppling them.
“It is (a) superb (tie) and that is who you want to play against,” he told Rangers’ matchday programme. “When I was down south, you played against the best players in the best stadiums and this is the sort of fixture we wanted.
“It doesn’t matter who we play against.
“At Ibrox in particular, we feel we can go and get a result and it will be no different when that night comes.
“They will be looking at us and with the calibre of player we have at this football club, they won’t be taking us lightly.
“With Barcelona and the likes of Lyon, Dortmund will be among the favourites to win the competition but they know they will need to be at the top of their game to put us out, that is for sure.”
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