Royal Antwerp boss Franky Vercauteren has insisted his side did not lose to a better team in their defeat to Rangers.
Vercauteren’s side were beaten 4-3 by Rangers in the first leg of their Europa League last 32 clash night, with a late penalty from Borna Barisic sealing the win for Steven Gerrard’s team.
That was a bitter blow for the Belgians, who had led the tie on two separate occasions, only for Rangers to pull them back and then score the winner in the 90th minute.
It sets the return tie at Ibrox to be a fascinating affair, and Vercauteren insists he remains hungry after what he saw from Rangers in the first leg.
“You concede four goals, but you also score three,” Voetbalkrant report him saying.
“Nobody expected this because both teams normally play well organised.
“You don’t lose today to a team that is much better! That keeps me hungry today.”
As already mentioned, the match was essentially settled from the spot, with a pulsating affair seeing no fewer then three penalties awarded.
Antwerp were the first to benefit from this when they were awarded the first of the three in the 8th minute of added-on time in the first half.
However, the decisions soon went against them as Rangers were awarded a spot-kick in the 59th minute and then at the death courtesy of a handball.
That handball also saw Antwerp’s Abdoulaye Seck shown a second yellow card and sent off, a decision Vercauteren was not impressed by.
“The arbitration, which I think was inconsistent. I had also announced this at half time,” he added.
“There are many questions you can ask about this, including the second yellow card for Seck.
“He does not make a deliberate hand play, so that yellow card and, therefore, red is totally redundant.
“Penalty would have been more than enough. Now you have a suspension next week.”