Former Glasgow Rangers defender Alan Hutton has revealed he is worried about the lapses of concentration the Gers experienced during their Champions League third qualifying round defeat to Malmo.
The Lowdown: Gers lose to Malmo
The Gers had the chance to reach the Champions League group stages after winning the Premiership last term, and they faced Swedish champions Malmo in the third qualifying round.
However, the Light Blues lost 2-1 in both games, meaning they dropped down to the Europa League instead.
The Latest: Hutton shares fears
Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton, who remains the Gers’ record sale (The Scotsman) since making the £9m switch to Tottenham in 2008 (The Mirror), shared his worries over the lapses of concentration.
He said it will be a big concern for Steven Gerrard at Ibrox:
“The biggest worry is lapses in concentration really, so far.
“I mean, if you go all the way back to the first game, those defensive mistakes. I thought Rangers had got rid of them, especially last season. They were so strong.
“To take the game back to Ibrox, they knew what they had to do. They started off really well. It’s the best I’ve seen them in a first-half performance in the competition.
“Malmo going a man down, everything was in Rangers’ favour. They came out the second half and they just didn’t look the same. There wasn’t the same intensity, they looked a little bit fearful at times.
“Whenever there was a lot of pressure on them, they didn’t look the same Rangers team to me. To lose two goals from two throw-ins, I think that’s what’s going to really hurt the most.
“I thought they eradicated those sort of mistakes a couple of seasons ago. To see them come back and then get nervous after that, that’s probably the most worrying thing for me. Probably Steven Gerrard as well.”
The Verdict: Need to improve
The worrying thing from those two matches was that the Gers effectively lost the game in the same way. During the first match, they conceded twice in four minutes at the start of the second half, while they shipped two in two minutes in the second clash.
If you want to compete at the highest level, you simply cannot switch off – the game can be won and lost in a matter of moments.
Are you worried by these lapses of concentration?
Gerrard will have been livid with this way his team imploded in a short amount of time not once but twice. Perhaps the current Gers squad just aren’t quite ready for the Champions League yet, but they still have the chance to reach the Europa League group stages instead if they can get past Alashkert.
In other news, Rangers fans rage at these club struggles.
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