Rangers boss explains why John Souttar and Ryan Kent didn’t travel with the squad to face Union Saint-Gilloise

Both players were left out of the travelling squad in Belgium and Van Bronckhorst has revealed the reasons behind their absence.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst provided an update on the current status of John Souttar and Ryan Kent after both players missed Rangers’ horror 2-0 loss to Union Saint-Gilloise.

Centre-back Souttar and winger Kent didn’t travel with the rest of the squad to Belgium for their Champions League first leg qualifier after picking up injuries during the Premiership win over Livingston at the weekend.

Souttar was replaced in the second half, but didn’t appear to be carrying a knock at the time, while Kent suffered an ankle problem in the latter stages of the match in West Lothian.

Rangers winger Ryan Kent has been ruled out of the Champions League qualifier first leg against Union Saint-Gilloise. Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Speaking to Premier Sports in his post-match interview, van Bronckhorst said: “Ryan had a bad moment on Saturday when he had some problems with his ankle. Hopefully he will be better for Saturday or Tuesday.

“John also has a problem so we are assessing him. We know exactly what the probem is and that’s why he didn’t travel with us.”

Last season’s Europa League finalists are staring at a third qualifying round exit for the second time in 12 months as the look to over a two-goal deficit at Ibrox next week.

Goals from Teddy Tuema and Dante Vanzeir gave the Belgian side a strong advantage heading into the second leg.

Van Bronckhorst conceded his team were fortunate to escape with only a 2-0 defeat but firmly believes they are capable of overturning the deficit.

He added: “It was very disappointing. We have so much at stake this month in terms of qualifying for the Champions League but the performance was below par.

“It was hard for us to get into the game. You saw at the beginning the opposition dropped deep but we didn’t do anything with our ball retention, we were sloppy and losing possession, not winning the duels and slowly they became better and better.

“We didn’t react well after that and were never really in the game. We made many mistakes defensively and we are a bit lucky that it’s only 2-0, although I was surprised the referee gave the penalty decision.

“The most important thing now is to regroup and reflect on our own game because we need to change it around next Tuesday and the performance needs to be a lot better than we showed tonight.”