Stuart McCall ‘disappointed but proud’ as Rangers suffer play-off agony at Fir Park

Shameful scenes at the end of the game at Fir Park
Shameful scenes at the end of the game at Fir Park

Stuart McCall made no attempt to his disappointment as he reflected on Rangers’ 3-0 defeat at the hands of Motherwell.

Gers will be locked out of the top flight for another 12 months after being hammered 6-1 on aggregate by Scottish Premiership play-off final opponents Motherwell.

Having lost the Ibrox first leg 3-1 on Thursday, Gers crumbled as they shipped another three goals to Ian Baraclough’s men in the Lanarkshire return.

There was no shortage of drama too, with flares and a pitch invasion just minor indiscretions compared to an incredible brawl involving Gers defender Bilel Mohsni and Steelmen forward Lee Erwin after the final whistle.

But even that will not cover over a terrible result for McCall and his team as they face up to another season in the Championship.

“I’m naturally disappointed but proud that we’ve taken it to this last game,” McCall said.

“Many people doubted we would get this far, doubted whether we would beat Queen of the South and Hibernian.

“I’m pleased with a lot of things that have happened but obviously over the last two games, the 30-minute spell at Ibrox when we lost three goals and then losing the first goal today proved costly.

“Today was all about the first goal – but to lose it in the way we did was sickening.

“If we could have got that first goal then perhaps things could have been different – but that’s football. Sometimes in football you need a little bit of luck but it wasn’t to be and they were the better side.”

Despite the setback the Ibrox boss was anxious to defend his players.

“I can’t speak too highly of my players – the desire and work-rate was there but if there was perhaps just a touch of quality missing,” he added.

“ We’ve defended poorly at times. We huffed and puffed first half but didn’t take our chances. Motherwell defended well.

“There was a spirit and togetherness that perhaps wasn’t there earlier in the season. There’s been some good strong performances and highs against Queen of the South and Hibernian as well as Hearts but the last couple of games have been disappointing.”

McCall’s contract is now up and the question remains as to whether he will be appointed to the post permanently or whether the Ibrox Board will look elsewhere with rumours abounding that a new appointment is imminent – even if promotion had been secured.

McCall made it clear that he wants to carry on.

“I would want to carry on with the job next season. My main strengths are recruitment, getting the best out of players and improving them,” he said.

“It’s been an honour and a privilege to be the manager of Rangers. It’s going to be a big rebuilding job but there are still some good young players at the club.”

After being told of the late trouble involving Mohsni and Erwin on television replays, McCall blasted: “That’s disgraceful. It’s totally unacceptable if that’s the case. Nobody can condone that sort of behaviour if that’s what has happened. His contract’s up – so he won’t be at this club next season.”