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I can’t fault the players for effort or energy- Deluded Davis excuses his Euro flops

Steve Davis reckons that his side put a lot of energy into their defeat from ARIS Limassol, so much that he couldn’t have asked for anything more from them.

That view was at complete odds to the angry bears in the stadium tonight with some wanting to challenge players to a square go at the final whistle.

On line the criticism was fierce as it was confirmed that the problems at the club run deeper than the manager with Micky Beale sacked on Saturday.

Davis and Alex Rae were expected to install some spirit and character in the squad but other than Jack Butland and Abdallah Sima none of the visiting players made any impact or even looked interested.

After all the pre-season hype expectations were sky high for the new campaign which gifted Beale’s squad a very favourable run of fixtures.

Now with four defeats from their last eight matches progress in the Europa League is far from certain, anything less than a win at St Mirren on Sunday will see the Paisley side go into the international break in second place to Celtic.

It was another underwhelming display from James Tavernier and Company in Cyprus tonight, Davis wouldn’t be expected to slam the players in public but praising their effort and energy won’t do the caretaker manager any favours.

Obviously the dressing room is hurting. We felt this was an opportunity to come here and get some points. We haven’t managed to do that and we caused a lot of our own problems tonight and two goals we gave away were really poor.

It gives you a mountain to climb but I think the boys kept trying to go, they put a lot of energy in the game and we couldn’t have asked any more in that perspective but lacked a bit of quality at times.

Davis left the back four from Saturday’s defeat from Aberdeen intact which meant that only Ben Davies has been added to the defence that Steven Gerrard assembled five years ago.

James Tavernier might be in the Hall of Fame but as a captain he adds nothing to the side, without penalties it is hard to justify his presence while on the other side of defence Borna Barisic runs the clock down to his exit next summer.

Beale’s reign will forever be defined by Cyriel Dessers and Sam Lammers, £8m of talent personally scouted from Serie A.

Both imports were in from the start tonight, it was difficult to notice that Lammers was on the pitch while Dessers maintained the ability to get nothing right in and around the penalty box.

Davis looks a completely underwhelming manager, sticking to the party line is going to shorten his honeymoon as Caretaker as anger among fans goes off the radar.

If St Mirren win on Sunday the pressure on the Ibrox board to bring in a new manager will intensify, if there is no changes the atmosphere at Ibrox on October 21 for the visit of Hibs will be truly toxic.

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