McCulloch points to inexperience
Lee McCulloch believes a lack of European experience may have cost Rangers against Unirea Urziceni.
Last Updated: 05/11/09 9:00am
Lee McCulloch believes a lack of European experience may have cost Rangers against Unirea Urziceni in the UEFA Champions League.
McCulloch's long-range strike gave Gers a priceless late lead in Romania, but substitute Marius Onofras levelled matters for Dan Petrescu's side with just two minutes left.
The victory would have restored Rangers' faint hopes of securing a top-two finish in Group G, but now they need a miracle as they trail Unirea by three points with two games left.
McCulloch is gutted Walter Smith's side were unable to see the game out after taking a priceless lead and thinks their inability to retain possession at the crucial time proved decisive.
"It's just so disappointing, being 1-0 up away from home with 10 minutes to go," said McCulloch.
"We need to keep the ball better than we did. It seems a bit of inexperience cost us on the night because we didn't kill off the game.
"The guy hit some shot from 25 yards, and the goalkeeper had no chance. But to come away with a point is so frustrating.
"You can't give the ball away like we did, you've got to be tight as a team. It's not a case of pointing the finger at individuals, it's collectively everybody's fault."
Rangers were embarrassed 4-1 by Unirea at Ibrox in their first meeting and McCulloch feels his colleagues have at least restored some pride by avoiding a second defeat to the European minnows.
"The main thing for me is that we showed a reaction after the first game. That performance at Ibrox wasn't good enough. But this was more like us.
"They worked harder than us at Ibrox and that was the disappointing thing from our point of view. We needed to put things right and I felt we did that.
"We passed the ball really well and everyone got on it. We were the better team in my book.
"They had a couple of half chances and there wasn't much in the game. But for me we've restored some pride back in the team.
"We showed a reaction for the gaffer and that was the main thing we needed to do. Never mind the scoreline at Ibrox, we never worked hard enough and we can't afford to do that. Here it was different."