Rangers still have all to play for, says Whittaker

Steven Whittaker insists Rangers can resurrect their ailing Champions League campaign by causing an upset against Manchester United at Ibrox later this month. The Scottish champions were on course to progress to the last 16 along with the Premier League club before Valencia put a massive dent in their hopes.

The Spaniards headed into Tuesday night's crucial fixture trailing Rangers by a point but a 3-0 win at the Mestalla allowed them to overtake Walter Smith's men and move into second spot behind United.

Rangers claimed a point in their Group C opener at Old Trafford, after their ultra-defensive display saw the match end in a goalless stalemate, and Whittaker insists they should not be written off when the clubs meet again.

The Rangers defender said: "The Valencia game was a setback and we are sitting third at the moment but there are still two games to go and there are still six points available. We will see where those games take us. We will try to take something from Manchester United and then Bursaspor in the last game.

"We managed to go to Old Trafford and get a point so we will try to frustrate them again at Ibrox. We know it will be a great atmosphere and a great game to play in and, hopefully, we can take something from it."

Despite the defeat in Spain, Whittaker is not yet willing to contemplate the consolation prize of a place in the Europa League after United's win over Bursaspor left the Turks without a single point and with very little hope of catching Rangers for third place.

He said: "That result helps us to hang on to third at least but there are two games to go so we will wait and see what happens first. Third is a great possibility for us but we are still looking to finish second in the group."

Two goals from Roberto Soldado and a last-minute strike from substitute Tino Costa sealed the victory for Valencia. Steven Naismith did hit the woodwork for Rangers when the match was still deadlocked early on but Whittaker admits they let their standards slip on the night.

"We just didn't get going," he said. "We had a couple of efforts but our all-round play wasn't as good as it has been in this competition and the boys are a bit deflated. It's disappointing because we came here with high hopes of taking something out of the game but it wasn't to be. Steven Naismith had a good effort early in the game, it hit the post, and if we had got ourselves in front it would have given us something to hold on to but it wasn't our night."

Naismith himself insisted Rangers were still focused on second. "We still want to push for that place," he said. "We have come so far between last season and this season in the Champions League and we want to push on and stay in the competition."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore