Former Rangers staffer Ceri Bowley has leapt to the defence of ex-Ibrox manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst after the Dutchman was sacked from the club in November.

The Gers are still hurting from a downturn in domestic form under ex-player Van Bronckhorst, with the nine point gap in the Scottish Premiership opening up under Gio’s stewardship.

Rangers FC v Heart of Midlothian - Cinch Scottish Premiership
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Ceri Bowley joined the Rangers staff alongside Van Bronckhorst in the August of last year but only lasted three months in post with the Englishman leaving alongside the rest of GVB’s staff.

And it’s the Dutchman who has been the subject of much of the Ceri Bowley interview with the Herald and Chris Jack, as the ex-City Group staffer reflects on his shot three-month stint at Rangers.

Breaking his silence on the exit, Ceri Bowley claims that Giovanni van Bronckhorst didn’t deserve to leave Rangers like he did and insists that the ex-Feyenoord and Barcelona star is an Ibrox man through and through.

In a glowing testimony, Bowley also praises Van Bronckhorst the man as the recent scar tissue from the Dutchman’s reign continues to feel tender at Ibrox.

“It is a real shame the way that it went,” said Bowley.

“It is a real shame because he didn’t deserve for it to end the way that it did. Nobody hurt more than him, I can tell you that. Nobody hurt more than him.

“When he first came to City, you could tell how much he loved Rangers. When he talks through his career, he says it is probably the best time in his career because they were all young, they had such a brilliant time at the club winning trophies and also around the city.

“As a person, what you see and what you experience is genuinely who he is. When he works with us, that is what he is like. He trusts people to do their job, he gives trust to players. With most people you have to earn that, but he starts from a position of giving you trust and you work from there. An outstanding guy.

“He looked back on his time at Rangers so fondly. He is a Rangers man and nothing hurt him more than the situation towards the end. I know he used to get stick for not coming out and being really open and chucking people under the bus and showing this and showing that, but he is a respectful guy.

“He took a lot on the chin towards the end, a lot on the chin. He could have easily deflected to other people but he didn’t. He demonstrated integrity and class, protected everyone, protected the players, the staff, the club, everything. He will always do that because that is the guy that he is and he always operates with class.”

Ceri Bowley backs ex-Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst to bounce back

Rangers fans undoubtedly have big respect for Giovanni van Bronckhorst but it is clear since the change of manager in Michael Beale – and the eight wins in nine games – that the move was the right one.

The Gers are still feeling the impact of a downturn in form this season with the nine point gap between the club and a relentless Celtic looking pretty insurmountable at present.

Nonetheless, Ceri Bowley believes Giovanni van Bronckhorst has already had post-Rangers offers and has backed him to prove his worth in management.

”He will be back managing, for sure, I think he will manage at a good level, I really do,” said Bowley.

“He hasn’t been short of offers and he won’t be short of offers.

“People will say that you don’t get time at Rangers. I get that, I totally appreciate that and I respect what the fans say in that way. But when you inherit a squad halfway through a season, it isn’t easy. I can guarantee you that.

“The first real transfer window was the summer. Each club has their own unique approach to transfers often driven by what the club needs to be and what’s the most important thing at that moment in time, you end up in the position you are in.

“As a person, top class. I think his reputation as a player, who he is as a person, the way he represented the club in some of the most difficult moments, they tell you everything about the guy.”

Meanwhile, Rangers have been handed a monumental boost heading into the League Cup Final with Celtic.

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