The Rangers manager, Paul Le Guen, accused his players of a lack of fight after losing 2-1 to Hibernian yesterday and has demanded an improvement before they take on Celtic on Saturday.
He was furious as they slumped to their first defeat since he took over the Ibrox helm in the summer. A double from Chris Killen sealed the win for Hibs and, even though Filip Sebo opened his goalscoring account for his new club, Rangers never looked like winning.
They travel to Dunfermline in the CIS Insurance Cup on Wednesday night before facing Celtic, who beat Dunfermline 1-0 on Saturday to strengthen their spot at the top of the Scottish Premier League. And Le Guen has warned his players it is time to stand up and be counted against their biggest rivals.
"I was angry and disappointed after the first half because we must feel that the players have a real will to win the game and they were a little bit flat," he said.
"We must feel we're ready to fight for each ball. In this part of the game, we must improve. It's frustrating but we mustn't give up. We must believe we will solve the problem. It's our first defeat but we must recognise our opponents deserved to win."
Manchester United loan signing Phil Bardsley saw red for a second bookable offence in injury time and will miss the trip to Celtic Park. Killen was also sent off late in the game, when a caution for taking his shirt off during his goal celebrations was followed by another yellow for a shove on the Gers goalkeeper Allan McGregor. But Hibs boss Tony Mowbray has no intention of punishing Killen for his emotional display at the winner. "He won't get any criticism from me, Mowbray said."
Goals: Killen (8) 1-0, Sebo (65) 1-1, Killen (81) 2-1.
Hibernian (4-4-2): Malkowski; Whittaker, Jones, Martis, Murphy; Scott Brown, Stewart (Fletcher, 77), Thomson, Benjelloun (Shiels, 62); Killen, Sproule (Glass, 84). Substitutes not used: McNeil (gk), McCluskey, Shields, Konde.
Rangers (4-4-2): McGregor; Bardsley, Rodriguez, Svensson, Smith (Papac, 45); Burke, Ferguson, Clement, Martin (Kris Boyd, 71); Buffel (Sionko 80), Sebo. Substitutes not used: Robinson (gk), Hemdani, Novo, Hutton.
Referee: J Underhill.
Booked: Hibernian Jones, Killen, Scott Brown; Rangers Smith, Ferguson, Bardsley, Clement. Sent off: Hibernian Killen ; Rangers Bardsley.
* Hearts moved into second place in the SPL thanks to Jamie Mole's second-half winner against Motherwell at Fir Park. The Tynecastle club have endured dispiriting back-to-back home defeats to St Mirren and Sparta Prague in the past week and were far from dominant against the bottom club. But a 69th-minute goal from Mole on the counter-attack enabled the Jambos to move in just behind Celtic.Reuse content