By Joe Ellis

7th Apr, 2022 | 11:10am

Carlos Carvalhal admits worry for Rangers trip to Barry Bannan

The first leg of Rangers’ Europa League tie against Braga hasn’t been played yet but Carlos Carvalhal already has one eye on the return game at Ibrox.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst takes his side to Portugal this evening for the first instalment of the two-act play but the Braga manager is worried about heading to Glasgow next week.

That’s according to Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Barry Bannan, who worked with Carvalhal at Hillsborough, who revealed text messages he exchanged with his former boss.

“Before the draw, I sent him a text asking him who he wanted and he said he didn’t want Rangers,” Bannan told the Scottish Sun.

“He wanted to avoid them as he was worried the atmosphere at Ibrox could get to his young lads.

“He said he would prefer West Ham as it was closer to Sheffield and he’d get the chance to come over and see all the boys.

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“When Rangers came out I just told him he needed to make sure he won!”

Scaredy cat

One can’t imagine that these messages will give his side any kind of confidence ahead of the first leg let alone next week’s return leg at Ibrox.

Carvalhal sounds like he is already running scared from van Bronckhorst and the rowdy Scottish supporters and that can surely only mean one outcome of the tie.

If the Light Blues manager has his wits about him, he will remind his players of Carvalhal’s messages to Bannan before tonight’s game and keep them fresh in their memory for next week’s clash too.

It might just give them that lift they need to ease their way into the last four where either RB Leipzig or Atalanta await.

Alfredo Morelos has been ruled out of the game, and the season, but with Carvalhal frightened to death of the mighty Rangers, we can win with anybody upfront.

In other Rangers news, we think this Gers starlet could be Morelos’ replacement if the boss puts his trust in him.