Giovanni van Bronckhorst pleased with response from Rangers squad to Old Firm defeat as Alfredo Morelos bags third goal in two games
The Light Blues defeated Hibernian 2-0 at Ibrox to claim back-to-back wins over the two Edinburgh clubs
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After dismantling Hearts 5-0 last Sunday, the Light Blues kept their second consecutive clean sheet against Edinburgh opposition to keep the champions a point behind city rivals Celtic in the Premiership title race.
Captain James Tavernier converted a fifth minute penalty before striker Alfredo Morelos doubled their advantage in the 57th minute with his third goal in two games.
Van Bronckhorst felt his players passed up good opportunities to add to the score line but was pleased with his side’s defending as the soaked up some late Hibs pressure.
Speaking to Rangers TV, he said: “We started really well, especially the energy we put into the game. We won a lot of balls in their half and the overall performance was really good.
“We created plenty of chances and the last couple of games will give us plenty of confidence. We had to react well last Sunday and we did that in a positive manner.
“It was important for us to continue that way of playing. We have to raise our standards for every game and this is the level we want to reach.
“It’s always important (to keep clean sheets), especially for the defenders. Our foundation is built on keeping the zero because we know in every game that we will create chances.
“We had to defend our box well for the last five minutes from a couple of corners and a shot from distance which Allan (McGregor) saved, so it was good to pick up three points.”
Van Bronckhorst felt Colombian talisman Morelos played a leading role in the victory after building on his impressive performance against Hearts.
The Dutchman stated: “I know his strengths in front of goal. You saw tonight we can play through him, especially when teams apply pressure on our defence.
“He’s always available to connect with the midfielders to collect the ball. We can switch the play through him and get our wingers in spaces where they can attack from.
“I think the threat we had from both sides really pleased me.”
Centre-back Leon Balogun was forced off injured after just 15 minutes and Van Bronckhorst confirmed it is unclear how long the Nigerian could spend on the sidelines.
He added: “I don’t know what type of injury he has picked up but he couldn’t continue so we’ll have to assess him and see what he has.
“It’s been a difficult time for Leon with injuries, so hopefully it’s not that serious but we’ll need to wait and see.”
Meanwhile, Gers playmaker Joe Aribo stressed the importance of starting games on the front-foot as he praised the form of his teammate.
He added: “Alfredo has been amazing since he’s come back (from international duty). He’s strong and can finish off both feet, so it’s amazing to have him in the squad.
“We knew we had to start the game quickly and that’s exactly what we did do. We got in their faces and made it hard for them to settle.
“We need to keep picking up three points and keep pushing forward. We can’t let the opposition get comfortable in any game and we need to play at a good intensity.”