IT was one of those unforgivingly awful nights in a footballer’s life when the poor chap wonders whether pursuing his dream has been worth all the sacrifices.

This happened to Ryan Jack two weeks ago when just about everything that could have gone wrong did - and then some.

Over 90 minutes had been played at Ibrox in what was up to then an utterly forgettable league match. His Rangers side were leading Kilmarnock 1-0 and had just been awarded a penalty.

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Evening Times: Rangers' Ryan Jack is shown a late red card against Kilmarnock on the worst night of his career

Years from now this will come up on the “What Happened Next?” section on Question of Sport.

Daniel Candeias placed the ball on the spot. Kilmarnock’s Jamie McDonald jumped about on his line as goalies do. The crowd waited expectantly for the killer goal, which is when Jack got involved rather needlessly with Kirk Broadfoot.

Now the red card that came his way was later rescinded, which is what has happened to two of his three this season, but Jack was open enough to admit he really only had himself to blame.

After all that hullabaloo, which seemed to take forever, Candeias saw his penalty saved, the ball got punted upfield and with Jack sitting alone in the dressing room with his (dark) thoughts, Chris Burke scored an equaliser deep into injury time.

Taxi for Caixinha.

“I don’t want to say too much,” said Jack who in fairness did front up about his shortcomings. “It’s happened, I’m trying to deal with that side of it, to deal with things better, and I’m going to move on now.

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“Hopefully all that is in the past, I can keep my discipline from now on and move forward.

“Was it frustration? It boils down to a few things, but frustration was one of the biggest reasons. Things weren’t going too well, it was a difficult time, we weren’t getting results, and everything then looks a wee bit worse than it actually is.

“But, for me, I need to put that behind me. I’ve stayed on the pitch for the last two games so that’s been a bonus!

“I don’t think anyone realise how much something like that affects you as a football player. It is all about what you do on the pitch and so you’ve got to take the criticism when it comes in the aftermath.

“Everyone is going to have an opinion on the game and my sending off.

“It was a difficult night, of course it was. It was one of those nights when I went back home and lay on my bed without getting any sleep because you can’t quite believe what happened. It’s about having the right people around you and moving on.”

Jack is a decent sort and has been one of Rangers better players this season – not bad for a freebie – but he must have felt awful when it became apparent Kilmarnock had scored.

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“When I got back into the dressing room I felt frustration and disappointment that I allowed things to boil over, which meant I put myself in that position to make the referee make a decision.

“Of course, I didn’t know what was happening on the park. We were 1-0 up and had a penalty so I thought that was the game done.

“A few of the boys then came in looking disappointed and it was then I knew we had drawn the game. So, it made the night even worse.”

When any player moves from those close pals Aberdeen to Rangers, the transfer rarely passes without comment. And so when Jack, club captain and lifelong fan, joined ‘THEM’ it did not down well in the North East.

He will find out tomorrow if his return to Pittodrie with Scotland for the friendly with Holland will be criticised, that’s booed to you and me, but if that does happen it will prepare him when soon his new team travel north to face his old one.

“It’s not about me and it’s not about Rangers and Aberdeen,” said Jack. “It’s about Scotland and about the team “I am just focusing on giving it my best shot if I get called upon to play.

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“I’m not worried about the reception. I’d been with Aberdeen since I was eight years old and played 250 games for them. It’s a great club and all my family and friends are still based up there so I’m looking forward to having them at the game.”

So, what did he make of Caixinha as it he, probably, who signed Jack in the summer and the Portuguese didn’t even get to see the Christmas tree put up at the foot of the marble staircase.

“There’s no denying it’s been eventful, especially with the change of manager,” said Jack with some understatement.

“It was tough for Pedro but there was no hiding from the fact that the results weren’t good enough for where we wanted to be and, as players, we had to hold our hands up and admit that maybe we hadn’t been good enough.”