Pedro Caixinha took full responsibility after his Rangers side suffered humiliation in Europe at the hands of a team which finished fourth in the Luxembourg league last season.
Progres Niederkorn had previously scored just one goal in European competitions. They scored two last night to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit and consign Rangers to the worst result in the club’s proud history in continental football. It was Progres’ first-ever win in Europe.
Ten seasons ago the Ibrox side contested the final of the Uefa Cup. They now find themselves ousted from the first qualifying round of the Europa League by a team from a tiny nation state which has a smaller population than Glasgow.
Caixinha, who has overseen a massive overhaul of the playing staff this summer, insisted he is still the right man to guide Rangers going into the new domestic season.
He also absolved the players from blame and described the defeat in Luxembourg as “extraordinary” and “unthinkable”.
“If I’m not showing strength to move the things forward then I couldn’t be in this chair, so I’m strongly convinced I can do it,” Caixinha said.
“I’m strongly convinced I have the group to do it and I believe I need to be here to take the group forward.
“One thing I’m totally sure of and I strongly believe and even more now because I’m a guy that always sees things forward. On bad moments you see the right people and I know the group of players I have. I know I can count on them.
“I assume all the responsibility not to pass this qualifier and to miss out on the group stages that was our main goal.
“But I know this group is going to be on the top again and is going to build very good things for the club.
“One word for the fans, they are the only ones that don’t deserve this sort of thing. They need to be angry at this moment and we understand they are angry but we ask them to keep believing in the team and have loyalty because the team will come good.”
Caixinha said it was “totally the worst result of my managerial career”. He added: “I accept all the responsibility for what happened. I don’t have the answers as to why the players didn’t perform.”