Scott Arfield claims withdrawing Ryan Jack might have cost Rangers against Rapid Vienna

Scott Arfield
Scott Arfield

Rangers crashed out of the Europa League following a 1-0 loss at the hands of Rapid Vienna on Thursday night, as their return of a victory, three draws and two losses in group G was only enough for a third-place finish in the standing.

The Light Blues kicked off their European campaign on an impressive note, going 11 games unbeaten and setting a club record in the process.

Nevertheless, a shaky end which saw the Gers lose two and draw one of their last three games cost them a great deal, and the late goal conceded against Vienna sent them crashing out.

Rangers midfielder Scott Arfield, however, has suggested that things might have been different if manager Steven Gerrard hadn’t sacrificed Ryan Jack for Kyle Lafferty.

“We lost a man in the middle of the park when Kyle Lafferty came on to try and get us a goal,” Arfield told The Scottish Sun post-game.

“Up until then we had put all the fires out in the middle of the park. But when we sacrificed Ryan Jack they caught us on the counter-attack.

“I still think the game plan was correct. We just could not find that elusive goal.”

Jack was withdrawn 11 minutes from time as Rangers sought a goal, but it proved costly as the hosts capitalized on his absence and eventually got the needed opener that was enough to send them through to the last-32.

Gerrard will surely learn a thing or two after his tactical gamble backfired, and he can only get better going forward in making such crucial decisions during subsequent games.

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