Carlos Carvalhal backs Braga to stand up to Ibrox cauldron

Carlos Carvalhal believes Ibrox will inspire rather than intimidate his Braga side in Thursday night’s Europa League clash with Rangers.

The Primeira Liga club leads 1-0 from the first leg of their quarter-final encounter last week in Portugal and the tie is set for a tense and exciting conclusion in Govan.

Carvalhal has a team dotted with youngsters like 19-year-old Brazilian defender Yan Couto, on loan from Manchester City, and 18-year-old attacker Rodrigo Gomes, while defenders David Carmo and Fabiano, another Brazilian, are both 22, as are than Spanish striker Abel Ruiz, who scored in the first leg.

Preparing to play in front of a packed Ibrox, Carvalhal has increasing faith in the character of his players.

The former Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea boss said: “These guys are growing from the start of the season.

“Most have 15/20 games, they have more experience. Some of them are in the quarry at the national level, they have this type of profile but we are going to have personality.

“I am absolutely sure that we will play with personality and we will play without any fear.

“We know it will be difficult, we are sure of that. But fear, no.

“We will turn the environment around, we will try to make it positive for us, to motivate us.

“We understand that these types of games are not a threat but an opportunity.

“This is an opportunity and we don’t have too many opportunities to play this type of game. During the season we have two or three games like this.

“Since I arrived in Braga, we have won at the Benfica stadium, at the Sporting stadium and at the Porto stadium, we are talking about 60,000 fans or 50,000 fans and we won there. So it’s something we like.

“Congratulations to the Braga and Glasgow Rangers fans last week, there was an amazing atmosphere in the stadium and it was something we enjoyed so we are looking forward to the game at Ibrox.

“Is positive. It is a great motivation.

“We will not defend when we go to Glasgow, we are a team that plays all the time to try to win, with great respect for Glasgow Rangers because they are a very good team, a strong team, but we will try to win. because we try to win every game”.

Carvalhal has underlined his team, fourth in their league, that they should take advantage of the opportunity to reach the semi-finals in which they would face Atalanta from Serie A or RB Leipzig from the Bundesliga, who are tied 1-1 from the first leg. in Germany.

The Portuguese manager is also expecting more chances at both ends than in the first game.

He said: “Before the first game I told the players that they should enjoy this part of the competition.

“If you get a chance to do this, let’s give it our all, let’s give it our best creativity and intensity but let’s enjoy the game at the same time and I think my team usually enjoy the games, you can see that.

“We like the ball, we like to play, we try to be a threat all the time.

“We did enough to score a goal last week. In the first half we scored two goals (one annulled by VAR), and we hit the post.

“The Rangers are very strong in offensive transitions but we didn’t give up too many chances.

“If Glasgow Rangers create more chances on Thursday, we can also create more chances in a game like that. Everything is open, 50/50, let’s see.”