Rangers manager Graeme Murty believes a “lack of concentration” and “lack of switching on” when needed cost his side the chance to close the gap to Old Firm rivals Celtic in Sunday’s Scottish Premiership clash between the sides.
Murty’s side twice took the lead before being pegged back each time then conceding a third and watching the three points slip through their fingers.
The result means the Gers now face a near-impossible task to stop Celtic winning a seventh consecutive Scottish title and taking a step closer to ten-in-a-row.
Murty admitted he was “immensely frustrated” to have thrown the win away and was unhappy at his side switching off at key moments in the game.
“Before I actually analyse all the things we need to do I am immensely frustrated for the supporters and the players because we put ourselves in a right good situation and we have come away with nothing,” Murty said, as quoted by the Belfast Telegraph.
“It is a lack of concentration, a lack of switching on at the right times and you don’t get opportunities like that to catch up against players of this calibre. If you give them an opportunity they go and score and it is exactly what we talked about in the brief and all week.”
The sides still have to face each other another twice before the end of the season with a league clash at Celtic Park and Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden to come.
Murty’s side need to beat the Hoops at Hampden next month if they want to end a seven-year wait for a major trophy.
The last time the Gers lifted the Scottish Cup was in 2009 when Nacho Novo scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Falkirk.
Football Insider verdict:
Without taking anything away from the finishes, all three of Celtic’s goals – and one of Rangers’ – came down to players not doing their job properly and getting caught out. The Gers were particularly guilt of this at times and Murty is right to blast his players for switching off. The Light Blues had a golden opportunity to beat their bitter rivals but somehow managed to let it slip through their fingers and come away with absolutely nothing. Murty will need to get a reaction from his side when they face Kilmarnock next weekend and get back to winning ways.