HARIS VUCKIC admitted Raith Rovers had knocked him off his stride as his Rangers debut ended in a shock William Hill Scottish Cup defeat.
The on-loan Newcastle player got his Ibrox career off to a goalscoring start but his equaliser failed to turn the tide in the game and Christian Nade sealed a 2-1 fifth-round win for the Kirkcaldy side.
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The Slovenian played in an advanced midfield role and showed some decent touches while producing a tidy finish when found unmarked by Kyle Hutton, but Rangers could not mount any sustained pressure and Vuckic found his first taste of Scottish football a bit of a culture shock.
The 22-year-old told the official Rangers website: “I was a bit surprised by the occasion against Raith and I just need to step up my game a bit more to handle it better.
“They were quite aggressive with us and really fought for the ball so that was tough and something that I haven’t been as used to playing in England.
“That was my first 90 minutes in a while so now I need to demand a little bit more of myself and hopefully goals will start coming, as well as victories.
“I have to adapt to Scottish football and to a new team and I am going to get to know the players better with time.
“I need to be more aggressive, get the ball at my feet and create and score goals - that is my job and if I do that I think we are going to be successful.
“We all spoke after the game and said the performance wasn’t good enough and we need to step up, move on, start winning games and get the fans back on side - we are determined to be better.”
Vuckic was the only one of five Newcastle loan signings to finish the game - indeed three failed to start because of injuries.
Another, Remie Streete, limped off with an apparent groin problem just before the break but Vuckic promised they would make an impact as the weeks and months progress.
Vuckic said: “I was very pleased to score, it gave me a bit of confidence and for a striker it is always good to get a goal because that is my job.
“I am the kind of player who likes to have freedom and be creative and I tried to link up with the strikers and our midfield.
“We just have to work on creating more chances but we’ve only known each other for three or four days now.
“We are only going to learn more about each other as time goes on and we will get better together.”