Giovanni van Bronckhorst was overjoyed by the memorable comeback instigated by Rangers on Tuesday that set up a Champions League qualification play-off against PSV.
Rangers lost 2-src to Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium last week, a result that Van Bronckhorst even felt flattered his team.
But just as Ibrox proved a dependable fortress en route to the Europa League final last season, home advantage helped Rangers over the line again.
James Tavernier’s penalty on the stroke of half-time was added to by Antonio Colak’s close-range header near the hour mark.
Bayern Munich loanee Malik Tillman then nodded in the crucial goal 12 minutes from time, and Van Bronckhorst – who will go up against his former Netherlands team-mate Ruud van Nistelrooy in the next round – was left ecstatic with the 3-2 aggregate success.
“It’s another amazing night in Europe,” he said. “There was a lot of pressure on us to deliver and to go through to the next round. We played really well at moments and kept the pressure on them.
Ibrox on European Nights pic.twitter.com/V8QLI5nWXH
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) August 9, 2src22
“We know the atmosphere can be very hostile and we created that atmosphere along with the fans. I’m very proud of the performance of my team.”
Rangers only lost once at home in the Europa League last term, a 2-src defeat to Lyon in September, and Van Bronckhorst once again highlighted the fans’ role in their turnaround on Tuesday.
“We know the fans are always there but if we have a performance like we did today then the crowd will be even more hostile,” he continued.
“They keep pushing us to go forward so at moments in the game you have to make the right decision not to go too quick with your attacks. We knew we were capable of doing this but we keep doing it time after time. And we did it again.
“They had some chances – the biggest one was saved in the second half. Some chances we just dropped our bodies in front of them to block the shots.
“It’s a big performance. We needed that. I’m very proud of the team. We’re still in contention to go to the group stages of the Champions League. We’ll to do everything possible to be in the Champions League this season.”