Van Nistelrooy eyes PSV progress, Rangers drop Morelos

Coach Ruud van Nistelrooij of PSV during the Training PSV at the De Herdgang on August 23, 2022 in Eindhoven Netherlands.

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos has been omitted from the squad for their crucial Champions League play-off tie against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday night.

It is understood that manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has cut the Colombian striker for the second leg in Holland due to fitness levels and other concerns, including attitude.

Following a discussion, the Dutch boss was supported in his decision by various senior players within the Gers squad and talks about a new deal are on hold.

The 26-year-old, who recently returned to the squad following a long spell on the sidelines following a thigh injury, was sent off 13 minutes after coming on as substitute in the 2-2 draw with Hibernian in the cinch Premiership on Saturday.

Rangers are looking to take the final step towards the Champions League for the first time since the 2010/11 season, although last season's Europa League finalists have a lot of work to do following a 2-2 draw with PSV at Ibrox.

Van Bronckhorst will once again go with summer signing Antonio Colak as his main attacker in the Netherlands.

The Croatia striker has scored four goals in his last five games and has kept Morelos on the bench.

On his Instagram account, Morelos posted a cryptic message in Spanish on an image which translated to: "The best warrior is not the one who always triumphs but the one who returns without fear to battle.

Morelos captioned the post with the words "miedo a dios" which translates to "fear of God".

PSV manager Ruud van Nistelrooy believes his side can take advantage of their free weekend to get past Rangers

While last season’s Europa League finalists had to play at Easter Road on Saturday, PSV’s fixture against Volendam was postponed to allow the Dutch side to prepare fully for the second leg of their Champions League play-off at the Philips Stadion on Wednesday night.

Quoted on the PSV website, he said: “We showed ourselves very well last week. Everyone knew beforehand that the duel at Ibrox would be tough.

“Rangers lived up to those expectations. In addition to the support from the stands, which leads to a lot of energy on the field, Rangers play smart, modern football.

“Rangers did a great job reaching the Europa League final last season and much of that team is still intact.

“In addition, the team has strengthened itself with some newcomers.

“A draw is then a good result. Of course the competition has been evaluated by us.

“Because we didn’t play last weekend, we were able to focus on points that deserve extra attention after analysis. I hope and expect that we will take advantage of that.

“It is a dream for us to play in the Champions League. We will do everything we can to make it to the main tournament.”

PSV’s Brazilian centre-back Andre Ramalho is glad the Dutch authorities postponed the Volendam fixture and believes it could work in their favour, especially if the tie against a side which impressed him at Ibrox goes to extra time.

He said: “Rangers play with a lot of intensity. We experienced that last week. (On Wednesday) we will play against a team that fights for every metre and is physically very strong.

“Our response to that was good. I think the 2-2 was a fair reflection of the game. I appreciate that the KNVB moved last weekend’s match.

“A lot depends on the game we play with Rangers. Every little bit can help us to achieve a good result.

“The support of our crowd, good preparation and fitness can play a role, especially if the game is not decided after 90 minutes.”

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