Harry Redknapp admitted Rangers did not do themselves justice as they were swept out of the FA Cup by Everton at Goodison Park.
The Rangers boss was full admiration for the quality on display from the Premier League high-fliers but at the same time, admitted his side had made it too easy for the Toffees.
“The lads learnt a lot today, and so did I,” he said after the 4-0 rout, that would have been even worse had it not been for a penalty miss, a Clint Hill clearance off the line and some good saves from Julio Cesar.
“We had a long chat about it after the game because we were all understandably disappointed with the manner of our performance.
“Today was a benchmark for us. We want to get out of the Championship and be competing against sides like Everton every week next year.
“But we didn’t do ourselves justice today though and that’s what hurts. There’s a clear gulf in class between the two divisions and that showed, make no mistake about that.”
Redknapp added: “We were beat by a far better team. I thought Everton were excellent.
“Even though they made lots of changes, they were strong all over and made life very difficult for us. We struggled to live with them at times. Their movement, their passing, their attacking play – it was top class.”
Looking ahead to next week's return to league action at Ipswich, the Rs boss said: “We’ve got to regroup now and work hard. We’ve got to pick ourselves up.
“We’ve got a tough game at Ipswich next weekend and we need to be ready.
“The league is all important for us. All we’re focused on now is getting out of this division.
“That’s been our goal all season long.”