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'Really, really poor' - Murty delivers damning verdict on Rangers defeat to Celtic

Rangers manager Graeme Murty has revealed he told his players they will “never have a better opportunity” to beat Celtic after blowing a lead twice in their 3-2 defeat by Brendan Rodgers’ side on Sunday.

The Gers found themselves with a numerical advantage at 2-2 when Jozo Simunovic was sent off for an elbow on Alfredo Morelos but couldn’t find a way to break through Celtic’s defence.

The result leaves the Gers nine points behind their bitter rivals and kills off any title hopes the Ibrox giants held this season after a late surge saw them get within six points of Celtic.

Murty thinks his side conceded three “really, really poor goals” after taking the lead through Josh Windass and then Daniel Candeias.

“I’ve just told the players in the changing room you’ll never have a better opportunity to go and win the game. And we’ve let that opportunity go away,” Murty said, as quoted by the Daily Record.

“We’ve let it go away by not being very good at the basics and conceding three really, really poor goals.

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“We started really well, obviously the stadium gets rocking after the first goal. But I thought after they scored their goal we didn’t get our composure back for 15 or 20 minutes.”

The Glasgow giants still have two more meetings to come before the end of the season – one in the league and a Hampden Scottish Cup semi-final – and the Gers will be desperate to get a measure of revenge against their city rivals.

Murty’s side will now look to secure second-place in the Scottish Premiership after going five points ahead of Aberdeen following the Dons’ draw with Partick Thistle on Saturday.

Football Insider verdict:

There’s little to argue with what Murty had to say. Gers fans will have been eyeing three points when Simunovic only to see them slip through their fingers. Rangers will need to dust themselves off and continue to build with an eye on next season and being in a position to lauch a proper title challenge. Despite Murty saying the goals were “really, really poor” some credit should go to Tom Rogic, Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard for their goals as all were good finishes, if gifted on a plate by poor defending.

In other Rangers news, the club are firmly in the running to sign a goal machine from north-west English high flyers.

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