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Davis fearing Gers January exodus
Published : 25 Nov 2009 14:20:24
The 2-0 defeat to Stuttgart at Ibrox on Tuesday night, their third home loss in the Champions League Group G, left them bottom of the table with two points from five games and without even the consolation of a Europa League spot. The loss of around £2million from failing to reach the last 16 of the Champions League, notwithstanding ticket money and hospitality sales from the home gate, represents another blow to a club already around £31million in debt and looking for a buyer. And with no compensatory cash from the Europa League, the European exit may hasten the departure of sellable assets such as Algerian defender Madjid Bougherra, who has blotted his copy book at Ibrox by failing to return on time from international duty three times, the most recent of which led to him sitting on the bench against Stuttgart. Asked if he feared players leaving in January, Davis said: "I hope not. "That will probably be out of the manager's hands but hopefully we can keep this group together. "I'm sure the manager would like to bring in a couple of players to freshen things up as well. "But that will be down to the people who run the club." Davis believes the Ibrox players need to get back on the Champions League horse as quickly as possible by retaining their Clydesdale Bank Premier League title. "Obviously we want to retain the SPL championship and that is our focus now," the Northern Ireland international said "First and foremost, the league is our bread and butter and we have to get back to winning ways on Saturday at Aberdeen. "It's great to be playing in European competitions and testing yourself against the quality players that you come up against. "Having missed out last year, we got ourselves back in to European competition this year, so it is disappointing not to do well. "But we have to focus on the domestic front, now that we are out of Europe." Davis, though, is well aware future Champions League draws may not be so kind. When the Ibrox club were joined by Spanish side Sevilla, Romanian unknowns Unirea Urziceni and Stuttgart in Group G, it was thought second place was well within the capabilities of the Scottish champions. However, Rangers' deficiencies were cruelly exposed against a team sitting 16th in the Bundesliga. Had it not been for keeper Allan McGregor the Ibrox side could well have lost the four goals they did in the previous two home games against Unirea Urziceni and Sevilla. The former Fulham player admits the optimism which followed the draw was misplaced. "Realistically we could have got a tougher draw, with so-called bigger teams," Davis said. "We looked at it optimistically and thought that we had a great chance of doing well. "But obviously we have not been good enough and that has been the story of our Champions League campaign. "It is your home form that sees you through in these competitions. "After losing at home to Unirea, we had a meeting and since then we have actually been doing a little better domestically and we got a decent 1-1 result in Romania with a good performance. "But at home (against Stuttgart) it was the same story as in the two previous home games."