24 November 2019 14:38
THE Rangers that Dick Advocaat knew was a club of trophies, top-quality players and of huge expectations. When he comes face-to-face with them again on Thursday evening in Rotterdam, Ryan Jack says he is sure to recognise them. Jack was a mere lad when the Dutchman delivered a treble to Ibrox back in 1999, but he remembers superstars like Giovanni van Bronckhorst strutting around the very same midfield that he now stars in under Steven Gerrard. Jack says that the expectations at Rangers to deliver silverware and compete in Europe are back to the same levels of those Ibrox glory days of the late 90s, and that they are ready to deliver on those expectations when they face Advocaat's Feyenoord side later this week. Once, of course, they have the small matter of a Premiership visit to Hamilton this afternoon taken care of, that is.
"Back then Rangers were successful," Jack said. "They had a great squad, a great group of players and nowadays that [same] expectation is there from the fans for us to go and compete and win trophies. "As players, we've got to be driven by that and hopefully this is the year we can win something. "When you're at a club like Rangers, you know that's the demand before you sign up for it. As soon as you go out on the pitch, it's about three points, winning a semi-final or final and winning trophies. "This season it's been going well, but we can't take anything for granted. There's a lot of hard work to go. "The expectation has always been there, and this year we've got a great coaching staff and a great group of players so that maybe rises a wee bit more. "Everything is going well, there's a good feeling about the club at the minute and we'll just look to keep that going. "It's going to be tough [against Feyenoord]. In the first game, at 1-0 we had chances to kill the game off. These players are international level, so if you switch off for a second, they can punish you. "Sunday at Hamilton is a big one [too]. We need to go and get the job done. It's going to be tough, an early kick-off on astroturf and Hamilton will be right up for it. "We've got to match that, hopefully get a good result and that will carry us into Thursday. "Of course, we want to be successful. There's no doubt. But I've always said we've not achieved anything yet and there's a long way to go this season. "We're doing well at the minute but there's a long way to go. But we do want to be successful and hopefully this is the year we can do that." It isn't often that you hear of harmony between the two big rivals in Glasgow, but the way that Jack dovetailed with Celtic rival Callum McGregor for Scotland during the international break was one of the most encouraging aspects of the wins over Cyprus and Kazakhstan. Jack's Scotland career has been a little stop-start to date, but he is hoping he has done enough in the last camp to convince manager Steve Clarke that he should be an integral part of the nation's midfield. "It's been good," he said. "Obviously John McGinn has got his goal and been excellent in the past couple of games. With me and Cal, the manager has said to play behind it, back play up and be there for the centre halves. "It's gelled well and worked well and hopefully I've done enough to show I can compete at this level. "Against Kazakhstan in the first half it was tough. They sat in that deep block and when they went one-nil up it made the game so much harder. "But as soon as we got control of the game it was an enjoyable second half. "I've really enjoyed it. The manager has been excellent, the staff have been excellent, the players have been very good and there's a positivity about the camp and we've had two good results. "That will stand us in good stead going into the play-offs in March. "I've been working hard in the off season trying to get myself ready, especially for this season because I knew it was going to be demanding. "At club level there have been a lot of big games, and that form has helped me get this recognition. I've enjoyed every minute of it, and I hope there's more to come. "We've had two good results this week and we end the campaign on a high."