Rangers 2-0 Hearts (AET): Ryan Jack says side ‘grinded’ out Scottish Cup win

Rangers recovered from a “flat” start after their Europa League final heartbreak and “grinded” their way to a first Scottish Cup in 13 years, says goalscorer Ryan Jack.

The Ibrox side beat Hearts after extra time at Hampden thanks to goals from substitutes Jack and Scott Wright.

It was the second time in four days Rangers played 120 minutes, after their Seville loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

“I couldn’t have dreamt it any better,” said midfielder Jack.

“We had a massive disappointment on Wednesday, and it was a wee bit flat at the start from us and from the support.

“It’s expected but we grinded away, and what a way to finish with me and Scott getting the goals and getting it over the line.”

After a goalless 90 minutes, Jack and Wright scored within three minutes of each other to claim Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s first trophy as Rangers manager.

Both players had been part of the Aberdeen side that lost the 2017 final to Celtic late on.

Wright told Premier Sports: “This is the cup you grow up wanting to play in and it’s a dream to score in the final. I’ve been here before and fallen short. I’m absolutely over the moon to score and even more so to win.

“You can see the togetherness as a team and the team spirit we carry. We came off the pitch after 90 minutes and we said tiredness is in the mind, and you can see the dig in the team to carry on.”

Win ‘gives Rangers energy for next season’

Rangers relinquished the Scottish Premiership crown to Celtic this term, but manager Van Bronckhorst – who replaced Steven Gerrard in November – will now have a full pre-season with the side to prepare for the next campaign.

And the Dutchman said his players had come through a testing week, having flown home from Spain on Thursday then said farewell to kitman Jimmy Bell at his funeral on Friday.

“It means a lot,” said Van Bronckhorst, who also won the Scottish Cup twice as a player. “We worked so hard and came so far in Europe, and the cup. But in the end, you want to have something in your hands as a reward, and today we did.

“I’m very impressed and proud of them. It has been a really demanding week with the final, the farewell to Jimmy, and the pressure to get the trophy today – and in the end, we did.”

The final might have been a last Rangers appearance for the likes of Allan McGregor, Conor Goldson and Steven Davis, who are all out of contract in the summer.

Van Bronckhorst was non-committal on specific individuals, but did concede that his squad might look quite different by August.

“Next season is new and we can start all over again and I can start from day one. We’ll need to wait and see what happens but I think we’ll see some changes [to the squad], yes,” he said.

“They’re out of contract, yes, which is a luxury for players but they want stability as well. We just enjoy this time tonight, have a big party tonight and go on holiday tomorrow.”

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