Rangers: Chris Jack sends strong-worded message to GVB ahead of next season

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Senior Rangers writer Chris Jack has claimed that the Glasgow giants must regain the Scottish Premiership title this season and look to take a ‘step forward’ by qualifying for the Champions League. 

After the 55-winning season, the buzz around Ibrox quickly mellowed when Steven Gerrard departed and the club relinquished their league crown to their arch-rivals.

The title loss was made all the more agonising by the fact that the first-placed team in Scotland would secure automatic qualification into Europe’s elite club competition this year.

The Gers could have joined their neighbours in the draw for the group stage but for their gut-wrenching Europa League final defeat on penalties, and now have to make their way through the qualifying rounds.

It is a route that Jack believes they must now successfully navigate in order to keep in touch with Celtic and has thrown down the gauntlet domestically, too.

Writing for the Glasgow Evening Times, he said: “That is the stage that Van Bronckhorst wants to manage and coach on, the one that his players and those that he is seeking to sign want to play on. In a sporting sense, it is crucial that Rangers qualify but the financial ramifications, especially now that Celtic are already there, carry even greater significance on and off the park.

“Rangers are a club built to win rather than merely compete. At Champions League level, success is relative and their remarkable exploits last term are further proof of where Scottish sides should be putting their expectations in continental competition.

“Qualification this season won’t make up for Seville. It would be a step forward, a move up, though, and it is the first box that Van Bronckhorst must tick during a season that simply has to deliver the Premiership crown at the end of it.”

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The Light Blues will enter into the qualifying stages at the third hurdle and will have to win a pair of two-legged ties in order to advance.

They will enter as a seeded team which should, in theory, make their path a little easier, but Van Bronckhorst will know all too well that it won’t be that simple.

The Dutch manager has brought in a trifecta of new signings over the past 10 days, with Antonio Colak coming in to provide competition for Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe, while Tom Lawrence seems hand-crafted to play in behind the designated striker. Meanwhile, Rabbi Matondo is a versatile forward who could make that right-wing berth his own.

A couple more fresh faces would be certain to get fans excited ahead of the new campaign and one that Jack feels is pivotal for the club.

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