TWELVE years have elapsed and Giovanni van Bronckhorst has never sat down to rewatch the most disappointing night of his playing career and defeat in the World Cup final.

Seven weeks on from his toughest evening as manager, he has no intention of reliving the agony of Seville as he looks forward rather than back at Ibrox.

Van Bronckhorst has spent recent days putting his players through their paces in Portugal as preparations for the new campaign have been stepped up. For faces fresh and familiar, it is a case of a clean slate as the Dutchman aims to lift the dark clouds of Europa League loss.

The Algarve base that Rangers have used is just a couple of hours from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium. Indeed, many of the fans who watched the friendly with Sunderland on Saturday evening would have used Faro airport on their route as part of a 100,000 strong travelling support that dared to dream but were left defeated and deflated.

What is done, of course, is done. History could have been made, but it can never be rewritten and that is why Van Bronckhorst won’t dwell on the past as he consigns another bitter blow to the back of his mind.

"No. No," Van Bronckhorst said when asked if he had viewed the Europa League final again. "I haven’t watched the World Cup final back.

"I remember the game in my head, so I don’t need to watch the pictures of that game. I know exactly what we did well, what difficulties we had. It is still in my mind.

"Of course [those feelings can fuel success]. We had a disappointment in Seville on that night and then two days after we had the possibility to end the season with a positive.

"Of course we wanted to win the cup in Seville, that is normal, but sometimes in football it doesn’t go your way. You have to pick up the pieces and keep going again.

"It was a huge game for us to win the Scottish Cup that day and I think also that final helped us a little bit going into the break and going into the international games a little bit more positive than if Seville was our last game."

That victory over Hearts ensured there was a silver lining from a remarkable campaign for Rangers. It was one that saw them humbled by Hibernian at Hampden and relinquish their Premiership title as Van Bronckhorst replaced Steven Gerrard as boss.

From his appointment in November to the finals in May, it was a hectic but thrilling rollercoaster of highs and lows. The chance to take stock, rest and regroup was as needed as it was deserved.

"It has been a lot, it was a long season," Van Bronckhorst said. "We had a short break in January but then we played all the way to the cup final, which was very good.

"Once you are in the rhythm you just keep on going. I had time to go home and to be with the family and just not think about football for as long as possible.

"But of course you need to have that time off, to refresh and to have the battery fully charged for the next season. It was good.

"I was at the Grand Prix. I really liked Formula One so I watched it as well.

"We got to spend a couple of days in Monaco and then the weather in Holland was good so I got to spend a little bit with the family and then work ahead for next season."

Rangers will return to Glasgow today with their second week of preparations behind them and fixtures with Blackpool, West Ham and Tottenham now await before the Premiership opener away to Livingston.

It would have been easy for the events of May to linger and cause Rangers a hangover this summer but Van Bronckhorst’s messages and approach have been forward thinking as he sets his sights on his next challenges.

"It is a new season," Van Bronckhorst said. "We have a lot of competitions that we are in and our goal is to be successful in each one of them.

"That is the drive that we have to show, that is also why you work hard now. The league starts with the first game against Livingston away, then the Champions League.

"Once we are in that schedule it is just keep on going, keep on going, and we have to be prepared for that. The character of this team is there, otherwise you wouldn’t get to the final of the Europa League.

"I have met so many seasons successful. We have to make sure that last season is done and we have to continue and now we know there is everything to win for."

The main prize up for grabs, of course, is the Premiership title. After an underwhelming and abject defence of 55, Rangers are the challengers rather than champions once again.

Celtic proved too good in the moments that mattered during Ange Postecoglou’s first term in charge but Van Bronckhorst is confident fortunes can be reversed and a four-point deficit overturned in the coming months.

"I think the margin and the difference was really close," Van Bronckhorst said. "If you look back on the season, there were games we should have won and didn’t win and lost important points.

"I think the season this year will be the same, it will be very close because of course Celtic invested a lot last year in their squad compared to the year before that.

"I think the margins are really close so it means you have to be ready for the Old Firms but make sure in all the other games you don’t drop too many points. Of course it is our aim to become champions of Scotland this year."

If Rangers are to regain their title, the work that Van Bronckhorst has done on and off the park in recent days must be built on now that the foundations for the season have been laid.

It was Celtic who got their main bits of business over the line first this summer. At Ibrox, the efforts to improve further are ongoing.

Van Bronckhorst said: "We are of course concentrating on Rangers and the development of my team and the players we want to bring in.

"But of course we are going to play against Celtic, going to play against Hibs, Hearts, so of course you will keep their development [in mind] as well because eventually you will face them.

"It is important to be well prepared and know the squad you are playing against and their qualities as well and how they play.

"That is for all the teams we are playing. But of course Celtic will be the team who will push us for the championship again."