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Caixinha's plans won't be upset by Rangers' Euro embarrassment

Progres 2 Rangers 0 - Progres win 2-1 on aggregate

By Gavin McCafferty

Pedro Caixinha says he will take the blame for Rangers' humiliating Europa League exit - but will not rip up the blueprints for his Ibrox transformation job.

Gers suffered their worst ever European result as they crashed out at the first qualifying stage hurdle to Luxembourg minnows Progres Niederkorn.

The part-timers - who finished 21 points behind the Differdange team eliminated from Europe by Cliftonville last season and whose only previous goal in Uefa competition came in a 5-1 aggregate defeat to Glentoran in 1981 - had never triumphed at continental level before facing Gers, but second-half strikes from Emmanuel Francoise and Sebastien Thill handed them a 2-0 second-leg triumph.

And it is they who now march on to a second qualifying-round clash with either AEL Limassol or St Joseph's.

Rangers were ropey at best during last week's opener at Ibrox and were even less convincing as they toiled amid a balmy evening in the Grand Duchy.

Caixinha has signed eight new players this summer with Graham Dorrans set to be the ninth when he arrives later this week, but there is little evidence so far that the new arrivals are any better than the team which trudged home last season 39 points behind Celtic.

Having presided over May's nightmare 5-1 drubbing by the Hoops, there are many among the Light Blues support who believe his four-month reign is already doomed.

Caixinha, though, is refusing to panic and says he will continue with the plans he has put in place for the new season.

The Portuguese coach said: "I'm just disappointed. I assume all the responsibility.

"We could not do what we were here to do - win the game.

"What happened to us today is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. That's part of football of course.

"I'm always a positive guy and never give up. We believe in this process.

"This is a strong lesson we need to learn from."

And Caixinha confessed his side only had themselves to blame.

"The corner they scored from came from one silly loss of possession," he said. "After that, we knew we could not commit unnecessary fouls but that's what we did.

"We need to apologise to our fans as they were showing this support, this loyalty to the club. They do not deserve this.

"What we need to do now is to keep working, to work harder and keep looking forward."

 

PROGRES: Flauss (Schinker, 32 mins), Matias Marques, Ferino, Karayer, Lafon,Francoise, S Thill, Watzka, O Thill (Vogel, 78 mins), chneider, Karapetyan (Fiorani, 84 mins). Unused subs: Borges Magalhaes, Sully, Soares, Mastrangelo.

RANGERS: Foderingham, Tavernier, Bates, Fabio Cardoso, Wallace, Rossiter (Herrera, 77 mins), Jack, Candeias (Windass, 59 mins), Kranjcar, Miller, Morelos (Dalcio, 46 mins). Unused subs: Alnwick, Holt, Waghorn, McCrorie.

Ref: Vilhjalmur Thorarinsson (Iceland)

Man of the Match: Olivier Thill

Match rating: 7/10

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