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Rangers need to move on and focus on securing European spot – Alex Rae

Rangers need to move on and focus on securing European spot – Alex Rae
By PA Sport

16/04/2018 at 17:25Updated 16/04/2018 at 19:36

Rae insists the Light Blues need to make sure of clinching a Europa League spot.

Rangers players need to put the frustrations of Sunday’s 4-0 William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Celtic behind them to focus on securing European football, according to former player Alex Rae.

Midfielder Andy Halliday vented his rage as he took his place among the substitutes after boss Graeme Murty replaced him with Josh Windass just before the break and with the Hoops ahead through goals by Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor.

Midfielder Daniel Candeias walked straight up the Hampden Park tunnel in the 52nd minute when he was hooked for defender Bruno Alves, after centre-back Ross McCrorie had been sent off for conceding a penalty which Parkhead striker Moussa Dembele converted.

Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham scored the fourth from the spot to compound a miserable day for Rangers and there were reports that Greg Docherty and Ibrox team-mate Alfredo Morelos had a heated exchange at full-time.

Pundit Rae, who played for Rangers between 2004 and 2006, was unimpressed by the theatrics and insists the Light Blues – who lead third-placed Aberdeen on goal difference – need to make sure of clinching a Europa League spot.

He told Sky Sports: “When you look at the manner in which they lost, it is understandable that players were upset but for me it is more important to try and take that out on Celtic, be it a lot more controlled in the way they went about it.

“It doesn’t look good when you have players shouting from the bench and players walking down the tunnel, arguing coming off the pitch.

“As a former player myself I have argued with many players over the years, it is how they react to this and whether they can turn this around.

“They have a big game here (Ibrox) on Sunday against Hearts and Europe becomes an issue if they don’t get second or third place because if Motherwell win the Scottish Cup, then fourth place doesn’t get that.”

Murty had claimed the result to be the low point in his short managerial career but Rae insists it is down to him to gee up the Gers players.

The former Dundee and St Mirren boss said: “It is the manager’s job and his backroom staff to pick these players up. But there has to be a post-mortem.

“I listened to Graeme after the match and (he) said he felt it wasn’t the time to have a go at the players.

“Now, on the back of that performance, personally, I would have gone right through the lot of the players.

“I’ve been around the ground and a couple of supporters have said they renewed season tickets but here is a general anger carrying on from yesterday’s match.

“You would have to say the tactics were wrong from the beginning.

“Celtic got far too much room in the middle of the park. Scott Brown was bossing the game and they struggled to cope with Celtic’s movement.

“They actually got off lightly with 4-0, it could have been so much more.”