Former Rangers manager Ally McCoist hailed the team’s “great achievement” in reaching the Europa League final following the “cruellest” of defeats.
McCoist caught sight of his children feeling the pain in the crowd after Rangers lost on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt following a 1-1 draw in Seville.
Ryan Kent had a glorious late chance to win the game in extra-time but Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp saved and then denied Aaron Ramsey in the shootout.
McCoist told BT Sport: “It’s heart-breaking, that’s football. It can be such a beautiful game but at the same time it can be the cruellest of games.
“You see the kids (crying) and I saw my own there, they’ve got tears in their eyes. They will take a bit of consoling, as will we all.
“But I am so proud of those boys for the achievement of getting to a major European final. They had no right to get to European final – a great achievement.
“It’s a massive disappointment but we have to to think of the bigger picture and what those boys achieved. Think of the nights they have given us – the nights against Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, Leipzig – phenomenal nights.
“Of course it’s a disappointment but, I tell you what, they have got a cup final on Saturday.”
Rangers face Hearts in the Scottish Cup showpiece, with Trevor Steven saying that game will help the process of dealing with the pain of European defeat.
The former Ibrox midfielder told Sky Sports News: “Reality will kick in very, very quickly. As a professional you have got to adapt yourself to the situation, which is getting back to Glasgow and preparing for a cup final.
“They will be pleased that they have something else to go for because that will focus their minds. If this was the very last game of the season, it would be a pretty miserable summer for those players.”
Mark Hateley agreed with his former team-mate’s assessment.
The ex-Rangers striker told BBC Radio Scotland: “It was a tough game to watch to be quite honest, bitty and bobby, five minutes here and there, not many chances created.
“I think the temperature took its toll. It was not a game for the purist, put it that way.
“It’s a big disappointment for the football club, and for the supporters that have come all this way in their numbers, but on the up side, they are going into another final on Saturday to make things right.”
Great effort in the Europa League from Rangers and the players have given their all. With the amount of penalties they’ve been awarded this season I fancied them in the shootout mind. Well done to Frankfurt though👏👏— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) May 18, 2022
Former England and Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves was very impressed with centre-back Calvin Bassey.
“My word, what a performance,” he told BT Sport. “It was astonishing really, the energy and the effort he had, the composure – everything about his game was fantastic.
“I’m sure anyone watching him, would be thinking ‘that’s the type of player I need in my team’.”
Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton praised the Rangers players but could not resist a dig.
He wrote on Twitter: “Great effort in the Europa League from Rangers and the players have given their all. With the amount of penalties they’ve been awarded this season I fancied them in the shootout mind. Well done to Frankfurt though.”
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.