Tavernier wants Rangers to improve on Kilmarnock loss against Servette

Rangers lost their Premiership opener at Rugby Park on Saturday.

James Tavernier wants Rangers to improve on Kilmarnock loss against Servette SNS Group

James Tavernier admits Rangers’ opening day defeat to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park was “unacceptable” as he looks for a response in Europe in midweek.

The Light Blues were under some pressure after Celtic began the defence of their Premiership title with a 4-2 win over Ross County on Saturday lunchtime but Michael Beale’s new-look side failed to get going.

Killie midfielder Brad Lyons scored the only goal of the game after 65 minutes to put an early dent in the Gers title hopes as they quickly turn their attention to the first leg of their Champions League qualifier against Servette at Ibrox on Wednesday night.

The Light Blues skipper told RangersTV: “It was disappointing.

“Obviously to come away with zero points is unacceptable for us as a team, no matter what opposition it is, it is unacceptable for us as a team to come to a place like this and not create the chances that we wanted to and obviously to lose the game the way we did.

“But obviously it is the first game of the season. We didn’t want to start the season off like this but we have to learn from this and we’ve got a massive game on Wednesday.

“As players we have to pick ourselves up.

“We have to brush ourselves down and put in a performance that not only us as a team accept but put on a performance that the fans accept as well.”

Beale is also looking for early redemption following a damaging defeat. He said: “Really, really disappointing day, it couldn’t be any more disappointing.

“We expected a hell of a lot more, me, the players, the staff, and most importantly, the fans so we will apologise to them and we’ll come back strong in midweek.”

Killie boss Derek McInnes was delighted with the win but was wary of extrapolating too much from it in terms of the rest of the season.

He said: “The time to judge and reflect on the merits of the squad will be at the end of the season.

“We’ve tried to bring in a level of player as there was a lot of work needing done.

“A lot of good players and people have left the building and it was with a heavy heart that some moved on.

“But there was scope there to try to change the squad. We’ve brought 11 in and we’d still like to do one or two more.

“I’d like to bring in a bit more firepower but we had more senior ones coming back like Rory McKenzie and Kyle Vassell.

“Joe Wright should be part of that next week too so we’ve got decent strength there when everyone is fit and available.

“But I’d still like to carry a bit more of a punch at the top end of the pitch. If we can replicate what we served up on Saturday, I’ll be encouraged.”

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