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Sport: Rangers' League Cup semi-final hoodoo against Hibs stands between van Bronckhorst and winning start

Gio van Bronckhorst awaits Rangers contract offer as top target unlikely to be in charge for Hibs clash

  Gio van Bronckhorst awaits Rangers contract offer as top target unlikely to be in charge for Hibs clash A delegation from Ibrox met the Dutchman and his adviser in Amsterdam on Tuesday as talks continued over making him the club's new manager. Record Sport understands a delegation from Ibrox jetted into Amsterdam at breakfast time on Tuesday to meet with van Bronckhorst and his adviser on the outskirts of the city to begin contract negotiations.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has fond memories of the League Cup.

  Rangers' League Cup semi-final hoodoo against Hibs stands between van Bronckhorst and winning start © Giovanni van Bronckhorst (fifth from left) celebrates with his team-mates after winning his first tr...

In November 1998, just four months after joining Rangers from Feyenoord, the competition brought him his first winners’ medal with the Ibrox club when they defeated St Johnstone 2-1 in the final at Celtic Park.

But while it is a tournament which has given Rangers and their supporters many memorable occasions through the years, winning it a record 27 times, addressing their more miserable recent history in it is the first item in new manager van Bronckhorst’s in-tray which has to be addressed.

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  Journalist drops intriguing Rangers claim on close friend of GVB, fans know him very well He won plenty of silverware during his time in GlasgowVan Bronckhorst is set to be unveiled as the Scottish giants' manager after the club saw Steven Gerrard walk away in favour of moving into the Aston Villa dugout.

  Rangers' League Cup semi-final hoodoo against Hibs stands between van Bronckhorst and winning start © Rangers striker Fashion Sakala enjoyed a prolific international break, scoring four goals in two gam...

The Dutchman will have a watching brief from the Hampden stand on Sunday afternoon as he awaits the work permit which will allow him to formally take charge of his new squad from the technical area.

The semi-final showdown with Hibs, however, is still very much the start of van Bronckhorst’s tenure as he succeeds Steven Gerrard.

Rangers have not won the League Cup since the 2010-11 season and despite the considerable progress made by the club on Gerrard’s watch, he was unable to improve their domestic cup woes.

A solitary League Cup Final two seasons ago, when Rangers lost 1-0 to Celtic at Hampden, was the best Gerrard could muster.

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  Hibs social-media wailing, Jack Ross critics: This was such an important win for many within Easter Road Social media is never truly an accurate gauge of how a whole fanbase is feeling, but there was a particular incident on Twitter last week which caught the eye. © The Hibs players celebrate with their fans after the 3-1 win over Rangers at Hampden. Hibs club captain Paul Hanlon was handed a new contract, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2024. The 31-year-old has won the Scottish Cup with Hibs, played more than 400 matches, scored crucial goals in derbies and been capped by his country while at Easter Road.

Rangers' Dutch connection - the four men poised to join Giovanni van Bronckhorst's backroom staff

If van Bronckhorst can bring the famous three-handled trophy back to the Ibrox trophy room before the end of the year - the final is on December 19 - it would be a propitious start to his time in the role.

But although Rangers are odds-on favourites to overcome Hibs this weekend, the Easter Road club enjoy something of a hex over them at this stage of the League Cup.

In their five previous semi-final meetings, Rangers' only victory came in the first of them in the tournament’s inaugural season of 1946-47.

Hibs have prevailed in each of the subsequent four last-four ties between the clubs - in 1972-73, 1985-86, 1991-92 and, most recently, a penalty shoot-out triumph in 2003-04.

Remarkably, it’s 42 years since Rangers beat Hibs in any competition at the national stadium when they eventually emerged successfully from the twice-replayed Scottish Cup Final of 1979.

Rangers training: the six issues to address - and two huge calls to be made by new boss

  Rangers training: the six issues to address - and two huge calls to be made by new boss New Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst takes his first training session at Auchenhowie on Tuesday after taking over from Steven Gerrard last week. © Rangers players show their dejection after conceding against Hibs on Sunday. The 46-year-old Dutchman met the press for the first time on Monday and has assembled his backroom team of Roy Makaay, Yori Bosschaart and Arno Phillps – with the potential for another one to come in.

With van Bronckhorst restricted to a view from the posh seats on Sunday, directing matters from the side of the pitch will fall to the four-man coaching team of B team manager David McCallum, his assistant Brian Gilmour, veteran player-coach Jermain Defoe and goalkeeping coach Colin Stewart who have overseen the preparations while Rangers concluded a deal for their new manager.

Among the selection decisions to be made is whether Alfredo Morelos returns to the starting line-up. The Colombian striker was an unused substitute in what proved to be Gerrard’s last match in charge, the 4-2 league win against Ross County at Ibrox a fortnight ago.

Fashion Sakala, who scored four times in his two outings for Zambia during the international break, is making a strong claim to lead the line.

Winger Ryan Kent, who scored and shone for an hour against County in his first start since returning from injury, is likely to be a key figure for Rangers again as they look to seize the attacking initiative and put on a show for their new boss.

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Van Bronckhorst couldn't have asked for more so far as Rangers boss .
BRIAN LAUDRUP: Challenges keep on coming at an intense rate, but new Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst has cleared the initial hurdles with impressive assurance. Gaining a measure of revenge against Hibernian on Tuesday night is his next task. © Provided by Daily Mail ( He will have learned a lot already. And, I'm sure, decided there are a lot more positives than negatives within this squad.If the focus and — as much debated recently — the hunger remain present, then the quality is certainly there. Against both Sparta Prague and Livingston, Van Bronckhorst got the answers he was looking for.

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