When Cyriel Dessers was working under Erik ten Hag at Utrecht, the now Manchester United manager imparted upon him a useful philosophy for dealing with disappointment in football. Something that may have come in handy of late for the embattled Old Trafford boss himself.

Ten Hag’s belief that you can only afford to dwell on any result in football – win, lose or draw – for 24 hours before moving on to the next assignment has proved invaluable for Dessers as he has tried to pick himself up off the floor after the devastating loss to Celtic at the weekend that all-but ended Rangers’ title hopes.

The mood around Auchenhowie yesterday was unmistakably flat as the players attempted to process the fact that their efforts in the league this season had all been in vein, but with a game against Dundee tonight and a trip to face Hearts at Tynecastle to come before the Scottish Cup Final against Celtic, Dessers says that he and his teammates must quickly put their hurt behind them.

“I had a manager, Erik ten Hag, who always said that when something happens in a football game you either mourn for 24 hours or celebrate for 24 hours,” Dessers said.

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“And then you have to switch your mind to the next game.

“I thought a couple of times about these words on Saturday and Sunday. But when you come back into this building you switch the button and you try to forget about it.

“It’s not easy because it’s there, not only in your head but also in your body. I want to switch a button and find the energy and power again to go against Dundee.

“It was the hardest day [on Saturday]. I said it before the game – ‘look guys this is the moment we’ve been working for for 10 months when we started in the summer. We all have it in our own hands.’ Then a couple of hours later, obviously it’s a huge disappointment.

“It’s what you work for every day, why you do everything, the reason you make sacrifices.

“Unfortunately, losing is also part of football. It’s all going to be about the reaction we can show in these next two games and in the Cup Final. I think also next season from the start.

“It’s not easy that’s for sure. It’s also been a little bit emotional because you know the moments you have been through in the whole season and the things you did.

“Somewhere you are maybe happy as well that you have a game coming soon really fast that you can switch your mind to.

“Obviously Dundee is a good team, they’ve given us some difficulties in the past, so you have to switch your mind and focus on that game and be ready to win it.”

What is paining Dessers and his teammates further is the double whammy of realising that not only have they take more points from their fixtures outside of the Old Firm clashes than Celtic have, but that they frittered away their hard-fought lead at the top of the table with the loss to Ross County and the draw at Dundee in a matter of days.

“That’s what makes it hurt even more,” he said.

“Like on Saturday, for example, the belief was there. You believed it and the belief was growing over these last few months.

“All of us went to the stadium with the belief like, ‘In a couple of hours we want to be on top and have the league in our own hands with two games to play’. Unfortunately, it didn’t go that way which makes it more emotional and painful.

“But I want to take fuel out of this, and I hope the other guys do as well. I just want to keep going even harder for the next two games and then the cup final.

“It’s a really hard question [if we threw the title away]. If you look at the results against the other 10 teams, we got more points than them.

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“This is what I knew when I signed here about this league. Often, if not every time, it’s decided by the head-to-head games, “In those the results were not enough – that’s really clear to us. It’s something we have to take into account for the future.

“It hurts a lot. For me personally it fuels me already. I told my girlfriend that I want to go to the next season already and do more, be better, be more brave, all of these things. That’s what we are going to need as well.”