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Ianis Hagi rues Rangers’ slow start after snatching point against Brondby

Partick Thistle v Rangers – Pre-Season – Firhill Stadium
(Image credit: Steve Welsh)

Goalscorer Ianis Hagi claimed Rangers’ mentality “should have been better” after he came off the bench to grab a crucial Europa League leveller against Brondby.

With seconds remaining of the first half in Denmark Gers centre-back Leon Balogun headed into his own net following a corner.

It was the home side’s first goal of the group stages and the 10th time this season that the Scottish champions had conceded the first goal in a game.

Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard made a triple substitution in the 55th minute, with Kemar Roofe, fit-again Ryan Kent and Hagi coming on and the latter two combined in the 77th minute for the Romania international to fire in the equaliser.

The Light Blues remain in third place in Group A with four points, the same as Sparta Prague.

The Scottish champions face the Czech side at home and flawless Lyon away in their final two fixtures and still have work to do to qualify for the knockout stages.

Hagi told BT Sport: “It is a draw, we came here to win and we didn’t win.

“Away from home, I know it is the Europa League, it is a tough competition, but we wanted to win.

“Our mentality should have been better from the beginning.

“We are Rangers and we have to come here and try to win, not wait until the second half to go out there and attack.

“We wanted to be in a better position before the game with Sparta Prague.

“We still have to win the game at Ibrox, we know the fans will be with us and will help us and push us on, so we have to deliver.”

Reminded about Rangers’ propensity to concede first in matches this season, Hagi said: “To be fair I don’t want to talk about last season, this is a new season and, as I said, the mentality of winning.

“Everybody, when we step out on the pitch, we need to have the mentality of winning.

“We don’t have to wait for the opposition to score then go out and win, but from now on I just hope we score first.

“But to be fair the team reacted really well, we came back so you have to give us some credit.”