‘They will be bursting’: Rangers predicted to go on trophy tear under Giovanni van Bronckhorst
Like McLeish back in 2001, van Bronckhorst was appointed midway through a season by Rangers. After the disappointment of losing the Premiership title to Celtic and the agony of last Wednesday’s Europa League final penalty shoot-out defeat against Eintracht Frankurt in Seville, the Dutch coach secured his first piece of silverware in the job with the 2-0 extra-time win over Hearts at Hampden on Saturday.
“At Rangers, it’s so important that you win trophies,” said McLeish who claimed seven major honours in his four-and-a-half year tenure at the club.
“I was speaking to people last Saturday morning over breakfast and we were saying ‘what if Rangers don’t win anything this season?’
“Rangers had to show such resilience to lift themselves after the Europa League final and going again just a few days later in another final.
“Losing the penalty shootout in Seville was horrendous for them and everyone wondered if they would have the stamina to go again.
“But they certainly did that on Saturday. It’s not the first time they have done it though.
“It was the same in the week of the Scottish Cup semi-final when they won in extra-time against Celtic just days after playing 120 minutes against Braga in the Europa League quarter-final.
“They have shown a fantastic mentality and character to do what they have. You have to congratulate the players and Gio and his staff.
“I remember in 1982 as a player at Aberdeen we came to Hampden and beat Rangers 4-1 after extra-time in the cup final.
“It felt that the game got us over a hurdle of being able to come to Glasgow and win against the Old Firm.
“That one game and winning something changed the mentality and it helped.
“It’s the same with Rangers, they hadn’t won the Scottish Cup in a long time and now that’s gone after Saturday.
“They will be bursting to get that winning feeling again.
“You get the adulation from the fans and everyone loves you and you want more of that.
“That’s the thing that keeps you going as players.”