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Rangers captain James Tavernier apologises to the fans after Scottish League Cup final defeat to Celtic

James Tavernier apologises to fans after Cup final defeat to Celtic

Rangers captain James Tavernier has apologised to the fans following the club’s 2-1 defeat to fierce rivals Celtic in the Scottish League Cup final yesterday.

They were undone by a first-half brace from Japanese striker Kyogo Furuhashi. Alfredo Morelos pulled one back in the second half, but they could not find an equaliser.

Angelos Postecoglou’s side held on amidst a late barrage from Rangers to ensure they won the 21st Scottish League Cup trophy in the club’s history.

Tavernier, who delivered the free-kick that somehow fell kindly for Morelos to slot home, says his side should have reacted better after going two goals down in the first half.

“First and foremost I have to apologise to the fans,” Tavernier told Sky Sports. “It was an unacceptable performance from ourselves. 

“The first half wasn’t good enough – we know that. Once you concede before half-time, you give yourself more to do. We wasted enough time in the game to react, and that’s the most disappointing fact about it.”

“We know what to expect [playing against Celtic], but as a team, we have to show up on the day, and I felt like we didn’t do that for large parts of the game.”

Rangers were second-best for most of the game, but they sparked into life in the second half. But for the woodwork, they should have pulled one back in the early stages of the second period.

The defeat was their first since Michael Beale took over, but Tavernier insists the team has to move on with more to play for this season.

Rangers are nine points behind Celtic in the race for the Scottish Premiership title, with the Hoops keen to retain their crown for a third successive season.

“There’s obviously a lot to still play for this season,” Tavernier continued. “It’s the first defeat we’ve had under the gaffer. You don’t want to lose against your rivals in a cup final, so we have to look at this and move forward.”

Rangers will be keen to return to winning ways when they welcome relegation-threatened Kilmarnock to Ibrox next weekend.

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