Shell-shocked Steven Gerrard admits confidence levels have hit rock bottom in the Rangers dressing room.
The Light Blues boss was left struggling to come up with answers after his team’s latest disturbing collapse allowed David Moyo to hand Hamilton a shock 1-0 win in Glasgow.
It was only the second time Accies have celebrated victory in Govan in the last 94 years and left Rangers facing fresh despair.
Gerrard had urged his players to set about proving they had the nerve required to win trophies at Rangers after seeing them slump out of the William Hill Scottish Cup with defeat to Hearts on Saturday.
But instead his squad faltered again as they suffered back-to-back losses for the first time under his watch.
“Where do we start?” asked the exasperated Gerrard, who has now watched his side drop 13 points in the last five weeks.
“We have just given three points away, it’s as simple as that. I’m not really sure I’ve got that many words to describe it.
“I didn’t think I could be more disappointed than I was after Hearts – but here I am, even more disappointed than I was a few days ago.
“I laid down the gauntlet before the game and will continue to do that. But I have a dressing room that’s shot of confidence.
“We have played ourselves into a rut and I’ve got a real tough, tough job to pick that up and improve it from here.
“I played the game for many years and I’ve been in dressing rooms where confidence is shot and things are not great.
“I’m not going to say this is the first time I’ve experienced that. But the dressing room is very quiet at the moment.
“Myself and my staff are flat because we are doing everything we can. We are trying to change formations and personnel, doing different things in training to try and lift and put confidence into them.
“I thought we lacked desire and commitment at the weekend which was really tough to take. I don’t think we lacked that tonight. Tonight was more about quality and taking your chances in the final third.
“If you don’t take them, you always leave yourself wide open to someone going and scoring against you. Credit to Brian and his team, they’ve done that. We’ve got a lot to do – a big, big lot.”
Rangers could have taken advantage of Celtic’s draw at Livingston but instead now find themselves 13 points adrift of Neil Lennon’s champions-elect.
It was better news for Accies, who climbed back off the bottom of the table and above relegation rivals Hearts.
Rangers welcomed Alfredo Morelos back after he was axed for their Tynecastle defeat but all he could do was power a header against the crossbar early in the second half.
And with the Ibrox crowd growing anxious, Moyo took advantage of a mix-up between Connor Goldson and James Tavernier to prod home the winner after 56 minutes.
“To come to Ibrox and keep a clean sheet is phenomenal,” said Rice. “I don’t know how many times Hamilton have done that in their history.
“I’m absolutely delighted. I think it’s a result that has shocked everyone – except myself. I always believe you put a team out to try and win the game.
“I’m not saying I thought we would win 1-0, but I think you have a chance if you have belief in your team and set them out properly.
“Rangers had a lot of possession tonight and a lot of balls in the box. On another night they might have had two or three breaks in the box that lead to goals. This is the first time we’ve had a break this season.
“You have to carry a bit of luck. We’re Hamilton Accies coming to play Glasgow Rangers.”
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