Why Rangers will not be feeling sorry for themselves after defeat by Celtic

Rangers captain James Tavernier insists he and his team-mates must put the painful disappointment of their Old Firm defeat behind them as quickly as possible in order to salvage a successful end to their season.

The Scottish champions’ hopes of retaining their Premiership crown are hanging by a thread after Celtic came from behind to win 2-1 at Ibrox and move six points clear at the top of the table with only six rounds of fixtures remaining in the title race.

Tavernier admits both the result and the nature of Rangers’ performance will not ‘sit right’ with the players as they digest its impact over the next couple of days.

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But the 30-year-old is also preparing to issue a rallying call ahead of the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final against Braga in Portugal on Thursday in a campaign which also sees them targeting silverware in the Scottish Cup where they will face Celtic again at Hampden in a fortnight.

Disconsolate Rangers captain James Tavernier trudges off the pitch after his team's 2-1 defeat to Celtic at Ibrox on Sunday. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“It is not the result that we wanted today,” said Tavernier. “We said that we wanted three points and nothing less and to not even get an equaliser is disappointing.

"We started the game off really well, got an early goal, and then the first attack they get the score. Both goals, we are reflecting on the disappointment of them with our standards. Through the game, we tried to ask questions and we just weren’t clinical in the final third.

"There are six games left in the league this season and we are playing against Braga this week and we are in a semi-final. We can’t dwell on this too much. We will look back on it over the next couple of days but we have to focus on Braga now. It is obviously not going to sit right with us but we have got to do our upmost to get the results until the end of the season.

“We want to go as far as we can in the competition. We will all get round each other when we are back in and we will need a good performance against them away from home. It is a difficult day to take and we have just got to move on and get the performances we want and the results we want.”

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