Rangers boss admits to difficult Champions League week

Rangers shock exit from Europe even before the season began still haunts boss Walter Smith.

Rangers shock exit from Europe even before the season began still haunts boss Walter Smith.

But, as the top teams throughout the continent began their Champions League campaigns in earnest, Smith could not prevent himself from thinking of what might have been.

"I don't think there is any doubt it has hit home, particularly at the start of this week," he said.

"Once you qualify for the Champions League, you look forward to a number of games.

"I'll not say this week was more disappointing than the result in Kaunas, but it probably equals it, knowing that European football of any kind is going on. It was a bad week for us in that respect.

"Our performance in Kaunas has come home to roost, especially given the way the team has played in the last four games or so.

"If we had played at that level, we would have had high hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

"I watched some of the games on television. You see the likes of Panathinaikos, Fiorentina and Werder Bremen in the Champions League so the start of the week was tough for us.

"Whether we would have won the last qualifying match or not is immaterial; at least it would have given us European football, so it has been extremely difficult to tune into that from the start of the week."

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