GvB: My players ‘need a break’ | Colak to miss final match before World Cup

Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst has welcomed the upcoming break for the 2022 World Cup after Antonio Colak was added to the club’s injury list.

Striker Colak, who has scored 14 goals since joining the Ibrox side in the summer, picked up a knock in the midweek win over Hearts and will miss Saturday’s match at St Mirren, live on Sky Sports.

Midfielder Ryan Jack returns to the squad, though, after recovering from a calf injury which has kept him out since early October.

Fashion Sakala, Ridvan Yilmaz, Kemar Roofe, Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and John Souttar are also out, as are midfielder Ianis Hagi and attacker Tom Lawrence.

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Highlights from the Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Hearts

Looking ahead to their last match before the top flight stops for the majority of the Qatar World Cup, Van Bronckhorst said: “So many games, the 27th tomorrow (Saturday), for everyone involved in football, players, managers, I don’t think it is ideal.

“You see how many games we play in a really short period of time and teams who are used to playing in a really high level are struggling with injuries.


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“We had to play above our level in the Champions League, which is tough, physically and mentally, and we had to do that in a shorter time so that makes it even harder.

“It is the decision of FIFA to organise the World Cup in November and that will affect someone, and that is the players and managers.

“We had to start the season qualifying for Europe. The biggest lesson would be not to organise another tournament again in November, that is the smartest thing.

Ryan Jack celebrates after giving Rangers an extra-time lead against Hearts
Image: Ryan Jack has been out since the beginning of October

“So, yes, my players need a break, you see how many players we don’t have available and it is normal that you are waiting for the break and time to recover and refresh.

“I don’t know how many players exactly I will have back after the break but I want a bigger squad and more players to choose from when we play our first game against Hibs.

“My medical department will push them to be available.”

Antonio Colak picked an injury in Rangers' 1-0 win against Hearts
Image: Colak picked an injury in Rangers’ 1-0 win against Hearts

The loss of Colak, who was left out of the Croatia squad for the World Cup, is a blow to the Ibrox side who are seven points behind Celtic at the top of the table.

Van Bronckhorst said on Friday: “Antonio has a minor injury and tomorrow comes too early.

“We had to take him off on Wednesday and it is an injury, if you played in midweek again, he would probably make the squad.

“But, with so many games, it is impossible to get him ready for the game. So, he is out, he will be fine when we come back.”


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