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Rangers got carried away with Old Firm atmosphere, blasts frustrated Murty

Suffering: Graeme Murty looks to the heavens as Rangers lose to Celtic
Suffering: Graeme Murty looks to the heavens as Rangers lose to Celtic

By Paul Burrows

Graeme Murty admitted Rangers blew a big chance to reignite the Scottish Premiership title race when they slumped to defeat against 10-man Celtic.

The Hoops now sit nine points clear at the summit with a game in hand but, after making a bright start to proceedings at Ibrox - where Josh Windass blasted Rangers into the lead in the opening minutes - Murty was disappointed at his team's inability to build on that positive momentum.

"I am immensely frustrated because I don't think we will ever give ourselves a better opportunity to go and win the game," he said.

"We started brilliantly and then lacked composure, got carried away with the atmosphere and they got back into it with a good hit from them but a poor goal from us.

"Then I thought it took us 15-20 minutes to actually re-establish our composure and I think everyone in the stadium was a little bit rocked by it.

"We go ahead again and then we concede an awful goal one minute before half-time and that is a fundamental flaw and error that shouldn't happen at this level.

"We started the second half a little bit better; we started to have a little bit of success and the sending off was a pivotal moment.

"After the sending off we lost composure and possession, we started lumping crosses in from deep rather than actually playing through.

"Once again we gave a really, really poor goal away and the basics really cost us today in terms of keeping people outside, not letting them inside and you have to be able to do that at this level, if you can't do that at this level then you get punished."

Murty criticised his players' mental application after letting such a big opportunity to slip.

"Before I actually analyse all the things we need to do I am immensely frustrated for the supporters and the players because we put ourselves in a right good situation and we have come away with nothing," he said.

"It is a lack of concentration, a lack of switching on at the right times and you don't get opportunities like that to catch up against players of this calibre. If you give them an opportunity they go and score and it is exactly what we talked about in the brief and all week."

"We were happy to come out and lump hopeful balls in the box and they have three guys who are 6'3.

"I am screaming from the sidelines that we need to play and we didn't quite have that quality or composure in the final third that we have shown in the previous games, which is a disappointment.

"We pick ourselves up by going on another run and by making sure we finish the season off strong."

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