James Tavernier apologises to fans after Rangers lose to Ajax

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James Tavernier apologises to fans after Rangers lose to Ajax to finish their group with zero points… marking their worst Champions League group-stage campaign of all time

  • Rangers captain James Tavernier, 31, apologised to the fans after their defeat
  • A 3-1 home defeat to Ajax means the Glasgow giants lost all six Group A matches
  • As a result, Rangers finished with zero points and a goal difference of minus 20
  • It marks their worst Champions League group-stage campaign of all time

Rangers captain James Tavernier apologised to fans after the Ibrox club recorded the worst Champions League group-stage campaign of all time.

A 3-1 home defeat to Ajax means the Glasgow giants lost all six Group A matches to finish with zero points and a goal difference of minus 20.

That eclipsed Dinamo Zagreb, the previous holders of that unwanted record, who recorded zero points and a goal difference of -19 in season 2011-12.

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Rangers captain James Tavernier, 31, apologised to the fans after their defeat on Tuesday

Czech champions Viktoria Plzen also finished with no points and a goal difference of -19 in Group C this season after losing 4-2 at home to Barcelona last night.

Speaking after their game with Ajax, Tavernier said: ‘It was a proud moment for all of us to come into this competition but we’ve not done ourselves justice.

‘We’ve not given the fans what they wanted and we will own up to that and can only apologise.

Steven Berghuis scored the visitors' opener in Glasgow as Ajax ran out 3-1 winners at Rangers

Steven Berghuis scored the visitors’ opener in Glasgow as Ajax ran out 3-1 winners at Rangers

Fashion Sakala rued a missed chance as Rangers ended the group with a -20 goal difference

Fashion Sakala rued a missed chance as Rangers ended the group with a -20 goal difference

‘We obviously want to do better and I believe in the first half we could have fought a bit more and (showed) more hunger.

‘We were better in the second half but in these games you can’t wait for 45 minutes because you will get punished.

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‘We never want to get beat. We are a club known for trophies and winning games and we did well last season getting to the Europa League final and playing against big teams. We wanted to do that this season but we’ve not met the mark.

‘We wanted to finish our final game, especially at home, with a positive result, but we couldn’t do that. But it’s a learning curve.’

The Rangers skipper did, however, convert a penalty for the hosts in the final few minutes

The Rangers skipper did, however, convert a penalty for the hosts in the final few minutes

Rangers slipped to their final defeat courtesy of goals from Steven Berghuis, Mohammed Kudus and a third from substitute Francisco Conceicao after Tavernier had given brief hope by converting an 87th-minute penalty kick.

When pressed on his comments about Rangers lacking hunger and fight, Tavernier hit back and claimed Ajax were fresher because they did not play a league game at the weekend.

He said: ‘We have missed a lot of players and we played a lot of games. With their fresh legs you could see their combinations and they were moving freely. It was something we couldn’t really get close to.

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‘So I probably won’t say the hunger and fight (weren’t there). It is just they are a quality side with quality players.’

As a result of losing, Rangers finished with zero points and a goal difference of minus 20

As a result of losing, Rangers finished with zero points and a goal difference of minus 20 

It marks their worst Champions League group-stage campaign of all time

It marks their worst Champions League group-stage campaign of all time

Rangers boss Van Bronckhorst was disappointed to end with zero points and urged his side to learn the harsh lessons at this level.

He said: ‘Those are facts. I cannot change the facts. We struggled in the Champions League and we need to learn from it and try to qualify again next year and try to do better.

‘Ajax had six days off. They came here really fresh. I’m not saying we need help. I just say they had a free weekend.’

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