Rangers boss Walter Smith has emphasised his disappointment at his team crashing out of the Champions League group stages. Despite making the final 32 of the UEFA Cup, falling out of the most elite tournament in the world is a worse fall than anything he has experienced with the Ibrox giants.
“We’re disappointed to be out of the Champions League. Our ambition was to qualify for the last 16 so it doesn’t feel like any consolation to be in the UEFA Cup. Other teams in the section might have more money to spend but that’s no consolation to anyone at Rangers.
“We are really disappointed that we didn’t manage to get the result we needed to qualify for the next stage of the Champions League. But it is an experience of us in the sense that when we started out we didn’t know how our team would do.
“We’ve probably played a bit better than most people expected and even against Lyon we didn’t play that badly but just lacked that cutting edge when we got into the final third. In terms of passing the ball and keeping possession we showed that we are far better than we were at the start of the group.”
“At the start of the season we had no European pedigree and there was no expectation on how we were going to do. So we can be happy with aspects of the way we’ve played in the Champions League but it doesn’t take away from the fact that once you get into the situation we were in on Wednesday – needing only a draw to qualify – that you are disappointed with the outcome.”
Were Rangers hard done by, or do they deserve this Champions League collapse?