Stuart McCall says Rangers defeat is only a blip

Queen of the South's Gavin Reilly (3rd right) celebrates his goal
Queen of the South's Gavin Reilly (3rd right) celebrates his goal

Stuart McCall did not hesitate to praise Queen of the South following their 3-0 defeat of Rangers that inflicted on the Ibrox boss his first loss since taking over the hot-seat.

“Queens were clinical in their finishing. Fair play to them – they hit us on the break and took advantage of our mistakes. We were up against a good side,” said McCall.

The three-goal margin of victory was the most emphatic ever inflicted on the Glasgow side by the ‘Doonhammers’ in their 96-year history, yet as McCall was only too quick to point out his men could quite easily have produced an entirely different outcome, notably a corner count of 15 – one in favour of the visitors,

“We controlled the first-half without scoring. Poor defending cost us dearly – particularly at the second goal which was the key to the entire match when we conceded right from the kick-off. Some of our players didn’t perform tonight.

“We still had chances in the second-half. There were certain parts of the game which might have made a difference – for example if we had gone ahead in the first-half.”

Stuart was keen to look ahead to the visit of Raith Rovers to Ibrox on Sunday afternoon – a game that now has even more importance attached to it following Thursday night’s result.

“We have to move on. There will be ups and downs between now and the end of the season. Sometimes you get beaten in football,” he said.

“We will work on Sunday and we will be fully focused for that game.”

The Rangers manager explained the absence of goalkeeper Cammy Bell was due to concerns about the artificial surface.

“Cammy had fluid on his knee. The pitch was the deciding factor – if it had been natural grass he would probably have played.

“There will be no confidence factor come Sunday, I can assure you of that,” added the former Motherwell boss. “Sometimes you get beat in games of football and you just have to hold your hands up. But the confidence won’t be rocked.

“I said to the lads we will put a line under it. Yeah we know we weren’t good tonight but we will be good on Sunday.”

Rangers beat newly-crowned Scottish Championship winners Hearts last weekend but lacked the same spark this time.

They fell behind when Derek Lyle smashed past stand-in keeper Lee Robinson - deputising for the injured Bell - after 33 minutes.

Lewis Kidd scored the second, seeing his shot go into the net off Lee Wallace 16 seconds after the break, while Gavin Reilly stroked home the third to compound Gers’ misery with 20 minutes to go as Rangers remain third behind Hibernian with a game in hand.

Rangers’ inferior goal difference means they stay third behind Hibernian but still have a game in hand on the Leith men.