MILAN (AP) – Carlos Bocanegra insists Rangers players will do all they can to raise the spirits of dejected fans after the club was plunged into administration.
Supporters were left reeling when the Scottish champions were placed into the hands of administrators Duff and Phelps on Tuesday afternoon over an unpaid tax bill of £9million accrued since Craig Whyte's takeover in May.
Rangers were immediately deducted 10 points by the Scottish Premier League, leaving them 14 points adrift of Celtic and with little hope of winning a fourth successive title.
However, with a game against Kilmarnock at Ibrox on Saturday to look forward to, Bocanegra was keen to stress that the players - despite uncertainty over their own futures - will be fully focused on delivering a positive result for the fans.
The defender said: "They give us excellent support and I hope that everyone still comes out to cheer us on.
"As players we need to go out and perform and give them something to be happy about.
"They need something at the weekend to raise the spirits but they are all staying behind us and the support at this club has been fantastic since I've been here and that's been a really cool experience.
"I don't see that going anywhere. The fans are pretty loyal and their roots are pretty deep and tied in with this club.
"It's a difficult situation for them but we need to go out there and give them something to look forward to."
News of the outstanding £9million tax bill emerged in the hours after Rangers were forced to call in the administrators.
The club is also involved in another dispute with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs which, according to Whyte, could leave them facing a bill of £75million if a tribunal rules against them.
The so-called 'big tax case' relates to payments made between 2001 and 2010 during Sir David Murray's tenure as owner.
But Bocanegra claims now is the time for unity, rather than pointing the finger of blame over Rangers' financial plight.
He told the club's official website: "This is the time when everybody needs to stick together.
"There might be finger pointing and apportioning of blame but in the end we are all in it together.
"We need to stick together and we'll pull through it.
"This club has been around for a long time and has a lot of history so it'll be okay.
"This club has a lot of support around the world, but especially here with the fan base in Glasgow.
"For them I know it is really frustrating because as players we come and go but the fans have been here for a long time so hopefully it works out in the best possible scenario."
The United States skipper is well aware the players are unable to have an effect on events off the park and he says they have no option but to concentrate instead on building on last week's 4-1 win at Dunfermline.
Bocanegra added: "Last week we didn't start fantastically but we got some momentum and played quite well.
"In saying that we didn't have a good result the week before and we need to be a bit more consistent regardless of anything that's going on off the field.
"As a competitor, any time you go on to the field you want to win.
"Everything else is out of our hands and it might sound cliched to say it but we can't do anything about it."