James Tavernier apology after Rangers’ ‘unacceptable’ Viaplay Cup final display

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​James Tavernier apologised to Rangers fans after the 2-1 Viaplay Cup final defeat to Celtic as he described the performance as "unacceptable".

Hoops striker Kyogo Furuhashi struck either side of the break at Hampden Park to give Ange Postecoglou's side a commanding lead and while Gers striker Alfredo Morelos reduced the deficit, Celtic emerged victorious to hand Michael Beale his first defeat since taking over as Gers boss in November.

Light Blues skipper Tavernier said: "First and foremost I have to apologise to the fans. It was an unacceptable performance from ourselves.

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"The first half wasn't good enough, we know that, and conceding before half-time left us more to do.

Rangers’ James Tavernier appears dejected at the end of the Viaplay Cup final loss in Hampden ParkRangers’ James Tavernier appears dejected at the end of the Viaplay Cup final loss in Hampden Park
Rangers’ James Tavernier appears dejected at the end of the Viaplay Cup final loss in Hampden Park

"Conceded the second one then got our goal, created another good chance but we wasted enough time in the game to react and that is the most disappointing factor.

"Yeah, we obviously got some belief when Alfredo scored and we then went on to create a couple more chances.

"But you can't give away that much time in the game to try to get yourself back in it.

"So we're disappointed with that.

"It's the first defeat we've had under the gaffer.

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"We've been getting the results that we wanted to but there when it mattered, we didn't get the result.

"We know there's a lot of work to be done and we're continuing to work hard on the training pitch.

"But we have to deliver every game and we couldn't do that today."

Tavernier revealed he had words with the Rangers players, with more to come while he tries to lift spirits.

The right-back said: "I have had my words in there.

"I am not going to go into too much detail.

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"But we have had an honest chat and we will have an honest chat through the week.

"It's one of those ones where everybody in there knows we've let a lot of people down.

"That's why it hurts, because we've let so many people down in a manner that we didn't want to.

"Going through the week, we'll have our chats and we'll have our meetings.

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"It's hard to get your words across now because there's so much frustration.

"But with a calm head through the week we'll go through a lot of things.

"We know what to expect but, as a team, we have to show up on the day.

"Emotions are running high so we will have a chat through the week and I felt that we didn't do that for large parts of the game.

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"We all have to look in the mirror and be honest with each other.

"There is obviously a lot still to play for this season, it is our first defeat under the gaffer.

"But it is just the manner of getting beat today.

"You don't want to lose to your rivals in a cup final so we have to look at this and move forward.”