It took Dean Shiels just three minutes to demonstrate to Mark Warburton why he should feature in the Rangers starting line-up every week – and the Ibrox boss was full of praise for the Northern Ireland player.
Shiels got the Gers on their way to a 3-1 win over Falkirk with the opening goal but it was late strikes from James Tavernier and Lee Wallace that secured the points.
Manager Warburton praised the efforts of Shiels after the game.
“Dean trains so well, and he makes a real impact when he has come on as a substitute so he’s got a magnificent attitude,” he said.
“He works hard every day in training - he’s a great character on and off the pitch and has a real desire to play football. He deserved it today and did very well. It was good build-up play for his goal.”
It almost goes without saying that the Rangers manager was happy with the win and he was quick to pay tribute to his players whilst at the same time acknowledging that Saturday was not their finest display of the season.
“They’ve played nine and won nine - so it’s a tremendous achievement by the players, but sometimes you have to win ugly and that was one of those games,” He said.
“Falkirk came with a real game plan, they were resilient, dangerous on the counter attack, well-organised and showed a real desire and commitment. The rewards came late in the game - we had to be patient and have some belief in what we were doing.”
Like his manager, captain Lee Wallace was full of praise for Ulsterman Shiels.
“It was a really good goal. ‘Deano’ has come into the side and like every member of our squad who maybe hasn’t been playing as much as they would like, was ready to step in and he showed that within three minutes of the start today,” he said.
For Tavernier his ninth goal of the season could not have come at a more opportune time, yet another trademark free-kick as he recalled whilst at the same time paying tribute to Lee Wallace.
He said: “If I can score a free-kick which can relieve pressure off the team then I’m happy to do so. It was a great feeling to see it go in but I’m just happy that the skipper scored as well right at the end to confirm the win.
“It’s great that we are both scoring goals. When he got the ball at his feet in injury time I just knew he would score. He seems to have a homing beacon in the back of the net when he sets himself up - it’s like a missile as it goes straight in.
“So I’m delighted he got his goal.”