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Steven Davis says Rangers’ Champions League return has been steep learning curve

Rangers midfielder Steven Davis, left, admits their return to the Champions League has been a huge step up for the club (Martin Rickett/PA)
Rangers midfielder Steven Davis, left, admits their return to the Champions League has been a huge step up for the club (Martin Rickett/PA)

Rangers midfielder Steven Davis admits their return to the Champions League has been a steep learning curve but they are determined to take something from the experience.

The 2-0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield was their third in succession since returning to Europe’s elite for the first time in 12 years and they are halfway to an unwanted record of being one of the competition’s worst teams.

A total of 19 clubs have failed to register a point in the group stage in Champions League history and Rangers would have to concede 10 in their final three matches to have statistically a worse record than Dinamo Zagreb’s in 2011-12.

Davis said the size of their task was apparent before a ball was even kicked in Europe – a decade ago they were in the fourth tier of Scottish football – but they had not given up hope of getting something out of a group in which they have yet to score a goal.

“We have to analyse the (Liverpool) game and look at the things we did well and things we can improve,” he said.

“It is a massive step up for us in the Champions League but we want to enjoy it and the only way we can do that is getting results against these top teams.

“Of course it is (a learning curve). We worked hard to get to this level, the club has been on a journey for the last 10 or 11 years.

“We knew it was going to be a step up, that has proven to be the case, but it is great to test ourselves against this level of opposition.

“There has been a lot of work on and off the field to get us back to this level but clearly when you are here you want to go and compete and try and get some results and we have three more opportunities to do that starting at home.”

Rangers face Jurgen Klopp’s side again next week and Davis is hopeful they can give a better account of themselves at Ibrox having managed their only shot on target in the 85th minute at Anfield.

“You have to get that balance right; keeping your shape and restricting the spaces as we know the quality they have if you open up too much,” he added.

“We tried to keep it tight initially and then carry a threat but we could have done better.

“I think you always have to have that confidence there are areas of a team you can hurt.

“In the second half you saw spaces open up and we had some good combinations in the wide areas but we know if we do get chances in the next leg then we have to be clinical with them.

“Results haven’t gone the way we would have liked up to this point but being at home next week will give us something to get our teeth into.”