Dirk Kuyt insists old international team-mate Giovanni van Bronckhorst will show no mercy to Rangers players

The former Liverpool frontman was captain of Feyenoord during Van Bronckhorst’s spell as manager

Dirk Kuyt has warned Rangers stars his former international team-mate Giovanni van Bronckhorst will not be afraid to make difficult decisions if he believes it will lead to success for the club.

The new Light Blues manager vowed to stamp his authority on the current Ibrox squad during his press conference yesterday.

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Ex-Liverpool frontman Kuyt was captain of Feyenoord during Van Bronckhorst’s first two seasons in charge of the Dutch giants.

Despite helping the club win the KNVB Cup and a first Eredivisie title in 18 years, Kuyt found himself out of the team for a period of time.

He reckons that outlined the 46-year-old’s ruthless nature and how he will not hesitate to drop any player in his quest for silverware.

Van Bronckhorst inherits a side sitting top of the Scottish Premiership table but still struggling to match the performance levels of last season’s unbeaten domestic campaign.

Speaking to BBC Scotland’s The Nine, Kuyt said: “I think he is very experienced now as a manager and this is the perfect next step for him.

“Gio’s a very relaxed person. He’s not very emotional but he doesn’t hesitate to make very difficult decisions. He always says those decisions are about giving the team the best chance to win.

“I played with him for ten years as a team-mate and we became friends over that time.

“In my second spell at Feyenoord under him I was the captain and his friend but he put me on the bench. It must have been tough for him, but it was for the team.

“He was always very calm. Even in the first season when we struggled a little in the league he never got stressed and we managed to win the cup. The year after, we won the title for the first time in 18 years.

“I can see him being very successful at Rangers. He is one of the best coaches Feyenoord has had and he will take that experience with him.”

Van Bronckhorst had no input as he opted to watch Sunday’s Premier Sports Cup semi-final defeat by Hibernian from the stands at Hampden before meeting the players on Tuesday morning.

Kuyt, who also played alongside former Rangers boss Steven Gerrard at Liverpool, was not surprised to hear the Dutchman chose to remain in his seat rather than intervene at half-time with his side trailing 3-1.

He admitted: “It’s typical Gio to watch the first game from the stands. It’s very difficult to make changes right at the beginning, so he will be well prepared for a very tough game on against Sparta Prague Thursday.

“Steven Gerrard, another great friend of mine, did a great job and hopefully Gio will be successful.

“As well as being a great manager, he has a good team around him, like Gerrard had. Roy Makaay is a very good coach.

“For Gio, the most important thing is first of all to win games. It won’t be tiki-taka in the first place, it’s all about winning.

“He likes to attack, he knows the 4-3-3- system very well and I think he will build on that like Gerrard did.”