Rangers lack the confidence to win big matches against Celtic, according to Leon Balogun, with the defender saying that his team failed to turn up in the moments that really matter throughout the season.

Balogun was crestfallen after Adam Idah’s late goal at Hampden meant that Rangers lost their fourth Old Firm derby of the season, and with it, their hopes of lifting the Scottish Cup.

On the day, Balogun feels there was nothing between the sides, and the deciding factor was that the Celtic players simply believed they were going to win the final more than their opponents did.

“If you look at the whole season, there was a gap,” Balogun said.

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“If you look again today, there is a gap because we haven’t won the game.

“We were in a position at one point where we should have gone five points clear [in the league] and we didn’t. For me that is the story of the season. When we had to turn up, we didn’t and I think that is the difference. That is something we need to change, and it stems a bit from confidence.

“I get it. It’s a bit more on their side because of recent history, but it’s something we need to get out of our heads and work on.

“The manager was just telling us to keep our heads high [after the game]. I don’t think there was much for him to fault in this performance today. My own feeling is that we didn’t deserve to lose the game.

“It’s about mentality, and that’s not to say the boys don’t have the mentality. It’s important that you build a different kind of confidence going into these games because for me personally there is nothing to fear, that is just me.

“I am not saying that anyone in our dressing room fears them, they just have confidence on their side because of recent years.

“That is fair to say, and we need to change that.”

Balogun is now out of contract at Ibrox, but the 35-year-old is hoping that he has done enough to impress manager Clement and earn an extended stay at the club.

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First, though, he will take a bit of time to get over the blow of losing the final and to reflect on a season that promised so much, but ultimately delivered only the League Cup.

“I am going to go home, hopefully have something nice to eat, probably not in town and then try and switch off for a few days,” he said.

“I would like to stay, of course. I said the same thing two years ago in the same place. Nothing has changed since then.

“But I think everyone needs to digest today first and then we will see what direction it goes.

“I think you would need to ask the manager. They are his plans and I hope there is some space for me there.

“But we have to digest today first.”