Jon Flanagan’s defensive displays this season have left a lot to be desired, but he says there’s no crisis at the back at Rangers.

The defending from Rangers in Moscow was schoolboy stuff to say the least. Despite leading on three occasions in the match, Rangers somehow managed to lose the game 4-3. It was a disastrous result on the night, but it does leave the group wide open in the Europa League.

The main talking point to come out of the game was the defending of both sides. Whilst Spartak looked terrible at the back themselves, winning the game has spared them much criticism.

Jon Flanagan was part of a Rangers defence who lost four goals in Moscow (Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Flanagan, however, isn’t ready to listen to the notion that Rangers can’t defend. Speaking to the press yesterday, he stated that Rangers are ready to prove their doubters wrong.

“Individually a few mistakes cost us, myself included. So I think it’s just getting back to the basics. I don’t think our confidence has gone. It’s just cutting out individual mistakes, and we need to work together better.

“Defensively it wasn’t good enough on Thursday and hopefully we can put that right. It was basic errors in defending. It’s not a big crisis about defending, it’s just getting the basics right and hopefully we get them right in the next game.

“We were up three times in the game. We can’t go over there and concede four and expect to win games. Collectively, defensively it wasn’t good enough. We will look back and see where we went wrong and improve.”

Worrying signs for Rangers fans

Flanagan’s confidence will be welcomed by Rangers fans, but their defending certainly won’t be. The performance at the back in Moscow was bordering on scandalous, but things haven’t been right at the back for a while.

Interestingly, Gerrard decided to throw in Nikola Katic alongside Connor Goldson on Thursday. Despite the fact that Joe Worrall has been his first-choice defender for nearly a couple of months now, it was an odd move.

Despite the defending, Rangers looked impressive going forward in Russia (Sergei FadeichevTASS via Getty Images)

You would’ve thought the Rangers manager would’ve learned his lesson at Hamilton. Katic was thrown in and looked incredibly nervous. This was clearly down to the fact he hadn’t had much game-time. Putting him in on a huge game like Thursday night was never going to work out.

Gerrard has to start making decisions that will help the defence. Actually getting a consistent back four is one of the most important things he can do at this point. Rangers have now kept just two clean sheets in their last eight. It’s hardly an impressive stat, and Rangers have to rectify it.

Motherwell come calling at Ibrox today. One of the biggest side-issues will be who Gerrard sticks in at the back. Will Flanagan and Katic both still be in there? In a word – doubtful.

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