Progres Niederkorn defeat highlights Rangers' need for Hearts Jamie Walker

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha looks dejected

Hearts manager Ian Cathro beleives Jamie Walker will be staying put at Tynecastle - but Tuesday's embarrassing showing proves how much Rangers need him.

The fact that Rangers failed to break down a team who finished fourth in the Luxembourg top flight last season, and had never won a single game in European competition, doesn’t exactly reflect well on Pedro Caixinha.

Evidently, that was the view of many who had made the trip to the tiny Jos Haupert Stadium as Rangers suffered one of the most embarrassing defeats in their history on Tuesday night. Going down 2-0 to Progres Neiderkorn, The Gers have been knocked out of the Europa League before most teams have even begun pre-season.

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha looks dejectedPedro Caixinha has already been subjected to questions over his future

It wasn’t just the way that Rangers threw away their 1-0 first leg lead that forced Caixinha to confront a group of supporters, knee deep in shrubbery, after the final whistle. It was the fact that the Scottish giants never looked like opening up one of the tournament’s bonafide minnows.

Therefore, Hearts manager Ian Cathro attempting to bring an end to speculation concerning Rangers’ move for winger Jamie Walker could hardly be timed any worse.

“I would hope we can draw a line under it,” The Jambos boss told the Evening Times. “Partly for us, partly for Jamie. It ended up being a lot of stress coming from a number of directions around him.

“He is part of the group and training as normal. There is no situation. Jamie is focused, training well and working hard, playing in our team is a valuable thing.”

No signs of Progres

According to the Daily Record, Walker was one of Caixinha’s top transfer targets this summer. The winger, who netted an impressive 15 goals in all competitions last season, was valued at Hearts at £1 million.

Heart's Jamie Walker in action with Inverness' Richie Foran (R)Heart's Jamie Walker

The report adds that Rangers made three bids for Walker but the highest reached just £500,000. Yet, it’s fair to say the Ibrox giants were crying out for a player of Walker’s skill and unpredictability in Luxembourg.

Yet, the end of this transfer saga will only dampen the mood further.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch