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Whittaker eager to right wrongs
Published : 21 Nov 2009 13:57:42Rss feed
The Scottish champions had high hopes of progressing to the last 16 of the tournament and expected their home matches to be crucial to their chances of reaching the knockout stages. Instead, Walter Smith's men have endured a torrid time at Ibrox so far, suffering 4-1 defeats to both Sevilla and Unirea Urziceni. The heavy loss to the Spaniards was hard to take but accepted, particularly as Rangers had performed well for an hour and had been the victims of a poor refereeing decision which could have altered the outcome of the match. But the capitulation to little-known Romanian champions Unirea sent shockwaves throughout the continent, with boss Smith admitting it was one of the worst European results of his career. Now, as Stuttgart prepare to visit Glasgow on Tuesday night in a match Rangers must win to retain any hope of coming through Group G, Whittaker knows they also have amends to make to the fans who witnessed the horror show at the same venue last time. "It's a game we need to win if we are to stand any chance of progressing," said the Ibrox full-back. "We've got a point to prove after the last game here against Unirea. We are looking forward to putting that right." Rangers did manage to restore some pride when they travelled to Bucharest to face Unirea in their last outing and returned to Scotland with a 1-1 draw. A late goal from Lee McCulloch had looked set to seal a first win of the competition this season for the Glasgow giants but a superb, unstoppable strike from Marius Onofras with two minutes to go denied them the victory. "The night was going to plan and we had put in a tremendous amount of hard work," said Whittaker. "We got the goal that we needed and it was really just a wonder strike that cost us in the end. We were disappointed but we were happy with the performance." Despite just two points so far - from their opening match in Stuttgart and that draw in Romania - Whittaker still has faith in Rangers' ability to defy the odds and join Sevilla in the last 16. He said: "I believe we can win on Tuesday and then it's just a case of seeing how the results go and what we need to achieve in the last game. We are still hopeful we can do it."
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