Rangers still optimistic

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The Independent Online

The Rangers midfielder Giovanni van Bronckhorst has appealed to the Ibrox supporters to play a major part in the club's attempt to reach the last 16 of the Champions' League. Rangers' hopes of qualifying from Group D took a dent on Wednesday night when they went down 3-2 at Galatasaray.

The Rangers midfielder Giovanni van Bronckhorst has appealed to the Ibrox supporters to play a major part in the club's attempt to reach the last 16 of the Champions' League. Rangers' hopes of qualifying from Group D took a dent on Wednesday night when they went down 3-2 at Galatasaray.

Dick Advocaat, the Rangers manager, was scathing after the match, questioning why his experienced European campaigners had only been spurred into action after falling 3-0 behind. However, Van Bronckhorst insisted the Turks would find it just as hard to perform in front of 50,000 at Ibrox in the return next month.

He said: "They are great supporters but our fans are just as good. The fans are always fantastic when we play there and they will lift us for that match."

The Dutchman, who scored a consolation goal in injury time, also knows that if the Uefa Cup holders can be beaten then Rangers will surely qualify. "We are still on top and we still have two home games so I think we have the best chance to come through," he said.

"Six points from three games is a good start for us, particularly when we have had two difficult away games.

"I think we just need to win our home games. If we can win these two then I think we will qualify."

Galatasaray are due at Ibrox on 17 October and Rangers' final match is at home to Monaco on 7 November, with a trip to Sturm Graz coming a week after the Galatasaray game. Rangers are joint top with the Turkish club on six points, three ahead of Monaco and Sturm Graz, with the top two going through.

Van Bronckhorst's goal took his Champions' League tally to three but he conceded that his side had under-performed, especially at the back. He said: "We gave three goals away. It wasn't our night and we only started to play in the last 15 minutes and at this level that is not enough."

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