It's not over yet, claims defiant Smith
GLASGOW: Walter Smith refused to concede his side's dreams of qualifying from the Champions League group stages were over after watching Rangers being run ragged by Romanian minnows Unirea Urziceni at Ibrox.
Rangers sit firmly rooted to the bottom of Group G with just one point from three games after Dan Petrescu's side put on a second-half master class to come back from falling behind to a second minute goal to thrash their hosts 4-1.
The Scottish champions suffered a similar defeat at the hands of Sevilla at Ibrox in their previous match with their only point of the campaign coming in a 1-1 draw away to Stuttgart.
The Spaniards, who won away in Stuttgart 3-1 on Tuesday, top the group with maximum points with Unirea moving up to second on four and Stuttgart just a point ahead of Rangers.
The fact Sevilla are running away with the group means the Old Firm giants are still in a mathematical chance of making the last 16 for only the second time in their history, despite their nightmare start to the Champions League campaign.
There will be a chance for instant revenge against Unirea with Rangers travelling to Romania for the return at the beginning of November.
But Smith knows only a drastic improvement will save Rangers' blushes in Romania.
"It's very difficult after a result like that one, then added to the Sevilla result previously, for us to look at the group," Smith said.
"We have to look at ourselves first and say that we have to show a vast improvement.
"The strangest thing is we managed to get a draw and a good performance at Stuttgart but we've never followed that up.
"We have the situation where we are all still involved in it, strangely enough.
"From our own point we'll have to look at our performance from tonight and try and pick ourselves up."
At Ibrox on Tuesday Smith's men got off to a dream start when Pedro Mendes' shot deflected off Ricardo Gomes to give Rangers the lead after 80 seconds.
Rangers dominated possession but Unirea levelled with their first shot of the game when Marius Bilasco tapped in after 32 minutes before Steven Davis missed a penalty for the home side.
But a second-half collapse saw former Chelsea player Petrescu's side stroll to victory with own goals from substitute Kyle Lafferty and Lee McCulloch before a Pablo Brandan free-kick finished the scoring.
Smith had to make last-minute changes to his side when Madjid Bougherrra was ruled out with a knee injury leaving Lee McCulloch to partner David Weir in the centre of defence.
And the Rangers manager said his side's defending just wasn't good enough.
"In the end we lost what I think could have been three own goals in the second-half and that type of defending in any level of football is not good enough," Smith said.
"We should be able to handle the situation better than that."
The result is one of Rangers' heaviest ever defeats at home in Europe, coming just a month after Sevilla won at Ibrox with an identical scoreline.
And Smith, who led the Scottish side to the UEFA Cup final in 2008, said it could be his lowest point in European competition as Rangers manager.
"Possibly, I don't know. It's a bit early after the game to start thinking about that," Smith said.
"We lost 4-0 to Juventus (in the Champions League in 1995) but they ended up European champions that year. They were excellent.
"Yeah it will be a big bit of a low point, at the present moment, never mind after I sit down to think about it."