The harsh reality of life as manager of Rangers hit Stuart McCall hard at Ibrox on Saturday.
His side trailing Falkirk 0-2 with just over an hour on the clock the jeers poured down from the stands in the direction of captain Lee McCulloch whose error was directly responsible for the visitors’ second goal.
The Ibrox boss did not mince his words as he addressed the situation. “I was obviously disappointed, sad and a little sickened by the booing - but the fans turned it on its’ head with applause and got behind everybody,” said McCall.
“We need the supporters to stay with us from now until the end of the season because we all want the same - to win games, to be successful, and to gain promotion.
“We need spirit and togetherness. We can do that far better when we are all on the same side. The players need the supporters just as much as the supporters need the players.
“Lee’s header brought a world-class save from the goalkeeper. It would have been justice if it had gone in.”
There is no question that the applause when McCulloch was on the ball eventually drowned out the booing and whilst few amongst the Light Blue legions would countenance the individual abuse of any player, equally there are many who believe that their captain should no longer be an automatic first pick in the starting line-up.
There can be little dispute that Saturday’s draw was yet another ninety minutes that should have been won quite comfortably such was Rangers’ early dominance.
However McCall did attempt to draw some positives from the final outcome.
He continued: “I’m obviously disappointed that we didn’t win - we got punished for our mistakes - although I’m proud that we kept going, didn’t accept defeat and got an equaliser that we certainly deserved. Their goalkeeper was outstanding, we had two cleared off the line and hit the post as well.
“We were relentless down both sides in the last fifteen minutes with Nicky Law down the left and Tom Walsh on the right.”
Looking ahead to the final weekend of scheduled fixtures, McCall was far from down-heartened despite Rangers now trailing Hibernian by one point in the race for second place in the Championship.
“If Falkirk play like that next week then Hibernian won’t find it easy. Falkirk don’t concede many goals - but we’ve got to focus on ourselves. We’ve got to go to Tynecastle and win.”
Meanwhile youngster Tom Walsh echoed his Manager’s thoughts on the Lee McCulloch situation.
“It was disappointing to hear the booing but all you can do is get on with your own game. ‘Jig’ has been great for Rangers.”