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Giovanni van Bronckhorst admits Premiership leaders Rangers may not do any business in January transfer window

GIOVANNI van Bronckhorst has admitted that Rangers may not conduct any transfer business during the January window – but stressed that he does not want to go into the second half of the season with a smaller squad.

Van Bronckhorst has gone undefeated in the nine games that he has taken charge of since succeeding Steven Gerrard as manager at Ibrox last month.

The Scottish champions won the seventh consecutive cinch Premiership game they have played under the Dutchman on Boxing Day when they beat St Mirren at home.

The 2-0 victory in the last league game before the winter shutdown restored their six point lead over Celtic, who had beaten St Johnstone in Perth earlier, at the top of the table.

The former Champions League winner, whose team take on Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League knockout round play-offs in February, is content with the options he currently has in every position.

But Southampton have been linked with a move for Joe Aribo and their Premier League rivals Everton have been tipped to return with an improved offer for Nathan Patterson.

And Van Bronckhorst did indicate that he will look to strengthen his squad if any player departs in the coming weeks. 

“I don’t expect anything,” he said. “You just need to be prepared, that’s the most important thing as a coach. You need to be ready for anything.

“Maybe nothing will happen, maybe a lot, you never know. We will see where we are as a club at the end of the window.

“As a coach you don’t want to get to the end of the window with a smaller squad than when you started. So we have to be prepared to decide what to do whatever comes our way.”

Van Bronckhorst, the former Feyenoord manager, has been delighted with Rangers’ form since he returned to Glasgow and attributed their success to the improvements they have made in both attack and defence.

He is hopeful that having a fortnight to work with his charges on the training field at Auchenhowie before their meeting with Aberdeen at Pittodrie on January 18 will help them to progress even further.

“I’m very happy with the results since the day of my arrival,” he said.  

“It’s been difficult for myself to come into a season which was already well under way. For the players as well, it is never easy when there is a switch of manager during the season.

“We all reacted well to the information and the feedback we have given and, of course, results are very important.”

Van Bronckhorst added: “We have been very good in our defensive work especially. We have a lot of clean sheets, and with the depth and quality of players in the squad we will always create chances every game.

“I’m pleased with their work ethic, especially the defensive work. We’re more comfortable as a team going forward and playing as a defensive unit. That’s why we’ve had so many good results.

“Starting again on January 5, we have two weeks to prepare them for Aberdeen and all the games after.

“We have even more time to become better as a team. The development I’ve seen in the players has been very positive.”

Van Bronckhorst was disappointed when he learned Holyrood had capped crowds at outdoor events at 500 for three weeks due to rising Covid-19 cases and is hopeful that more fans will be allowed in to stadiums when the Premiership restarts.

However, he knows that Rangers must continue to perform at their best regardless of how many supporters are in attendance in order to retain their Scottish title come May.

“We had a full house last week (at the Dundee United game) and it’s a big difference when there’s only 500,” he said.  “We have to make sure we are respecting the rules of the government and the SFA.

“Of course, I want a full house, but if that’s not the case we need to keep up our performances, not just for the 500 in the stadium but for all the fans globally who are watching on TV. We represent them.”

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