Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst admitted he wasn’t tempted to bring on talisman Alfredo Morelos during the second half of their Champions League play-off first-leg tie against PSV at Ibrox.
The Light Blues were held to a gripping 2-2 draw against the Eredivisie side to leave the tie finely poised ahead of the second leg in the Netherlands next Wednesday.
Ibrahim Sangare’s opener for the visitors was cancelled out by Antonio Colak’s excellent finish before goalkeeper Walter Benitez allowed a speculative Tom Lawrence free-kick from distance slip through his grasp.
Rangers advantage lasted just eight minutes, though, as Armando Obispo rose above Connor Goldson to head home from point-blank range to set up a winner-takes-all clash in Eindhoven.
Van Bronckhorst opted to leave Morelos on the bench throughout the match, hinting the striker must continue to work on his fitness after claiming Colak didn’t deserve to come off.
Asked whether he thought about bringing the Colombian on in the closing stages, the Dutchman told BT Sport: “No.
“Why? Well, Colak played fine, he had energy and was very dangerous. For me, that wasn’t a point I had to change.
“Colak’s work rate when we don’t have the ball is really good. He scored a great goal and I am happy with his performance.
“In the Champions League, at this stage it’s also about when you don’t have the ball and he brought great energy.”
Van Bronckhorst insists there was little to separate the sides with the club now 90 minutes away from securing a £40million place in the group phase of the competition.
He added: “It was a very close game. The difference aren’t that big and we saw that in this game.
“This was a high quality game against a good side and this is the level we want to compete at. PSV showed they are a strong team at big moments and so did we.
The tie is still open and we have the chance to go through next week. Of course we can do it.
“It’s the second leg, they play at home and hopefully we can get more space and try to win. We have to do that to get our goal and we will give everything.”