Jordan Rossiter has apologised to Rangers fans and says the players need to prove they are good enough to wear the jersey after their Europa League exit.
The Gers lost 2-1 on aggregate to Luxembourg side Progres Niederkorn in the first qualifying round after a 2-0 defeat in the second leg on Tuesday, a result which saw supporters surround the team bus, with some singing: “You’re not fit to wear the shirt.”
Rossiter was making his first start in more than 10 months after recurring injury problems last season, while six of Pedro Caixinha’s eight summer signings also featured, but the former Liverpool player was at pains to say sorry for the result and insisted the squad shared the fans’ hurt.
“We are all not going to forget this for a long time and I know the fans certainly won’t either but the lads are already speaking and saying we need to get together now, show a bit of courage and come out of this,” the 20-year-old told Rangers TV.
“We need to prove to these fans that we want to be here and we are good enough to wear that Rangers shirt.
“We would have liked to have beaten them by more in the home leg but with a 1-0 victory we were confident of coming here, putting on a show for the fans and winning the game – and that just hasn’t happened.
“The lads are really feeling it in there, the new lads and the lads who have been here for a while. Listen, whether this is my first game for Rangers or my 50th game for Rangers this is massively disappointing and I can’t apologise enough.”
Progres had never won a European tie before and had only scored once, against Glentoran, in 13 matches in UEFA competitions before the second leg.
Rangers hit the bar three times on Tuesday but struggled to impose themselves on their opponents for large periods of the two legs.
Rossiter added: “It is massively disappointing, I cannot apologise to the fans enough, we simply weren’t good enough and all the lads know that.
“I can stand here and say we were unlucky with this or that but listen, we weren’t unlucky, we simply weren’t good enough on the night. We know we have let ourselves down and we have let the whole club down and we have let the fans down who have paid good money to come out here and travel.”
Caixinha must now re-examine his pre-season programme as Rangers have no friendly games organised before they open their Premiership campaign against Motherwell on August 5.Soccer Accumulator Bonus
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