Ally McCoist refused to blame injuries to key players as holders Rangers almost crashed out of the Active Nation Scottish Cup in the fourth round at Hamilton.
Only a dubious penalty — converted by Kenny Miller — allowed the Glasgow giants to scrape a replay against Accies, with both teams bidding to face St Mirren in the next round.
Rangers were also left counting the cost of injuries to both Steven Davis and top goalscorer Kris Boyd in the first half of the 3-3 draw at New Douglas Park.
McCoist hopes neither faces a lengthy lay-off but admits the club's mounting casualty and suspension worries is cause for concern and said Rangers have no choice but to cope.
“Injuries are part and parcel of football,” said the assistant boss.
“We could do without them but hopefully they are not long-term.
“Steven Davis has a dead leg and with his style of play, mobility is important for him and we had to get him off.
“Kris has been feeling his groin for a couple of weeks and I don't think the cold weather helped him. Hopefully we got him off in time.
“It's been a little niggle and the conditions probably played a part. We could've done without injuries but they had no bearing on the goals we lost.
“We won't know the full extent until the next 48 hours — but the squad is certainly being put to the test over the coming weeks.
“I would be lying if said it was not a concern but we have to handle it.”
Rangers appeared to be cruising as goals from Steven Whittaker and Miller provided what should have been a comfortable lead.
But Simon Mensing pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, before Marco Paixao and Mickael Antoine-Curier both netted in first-half stoppage time to hand Accies a shock lead.
Rangers did hit back through Miller again after the break but were forced to settle for level terms and a replay at Ibrox.
McCoist added: “It was everything you would expect from a Scottish Cup tie; there was enough crammed into that game for a few cup ties.
“The first 45 (minutes) were a bit bizarre because we were 2-0 up without really playing well, I couldn't see where it came from.
“But I also didn't see Hamilton scoring three goals in 10 minutes. It was a strange feeling to go from being delighted to a little down and we had work to do at half-time. The goals we lost were poor but you ask the team a question at half-time and I thought we were a lot better in the second-half.
“Both teams probably deserve another crack at the cup tie against St Mirren.
“Ourselves and Hamilton will not be looking further than the repay — today's game shows anything can happen.
“It's a home tie and we are pleased to have another crack.”
Meanwhile, McCoist insists Rangers have no plans at the moment to recall Madjid Bougherra from the African Nations Cup following the attack on the Togo team bus, which left three people dead.
He said: “We spoke to his agent last night, I couldn't get hold of Madjid, but his agent says he is fine, fit and well and looking forward to the tournament.
“What has happened is an absolute tragedy, it's barbaric, and it's a horrendous situation.”
Hamilton boss Billy Reid thought his team were the better side and insists they deserve plenty of credit for their Scottish Cup efforts, regardless of how Rangers performed.
He said: “The first-half was crazy. The first goal was sloppy, the second was clinical but that's Kenny Miller. We got the goal back and then dominated the game. At times Rangers were chasing shadows. I thought over the 90 minutes we were the better side.”
Scottish Cup fifth-round draw
Dunfermline v Morton or Celtic
Hibernian v Edinburgh City or Montrose
Forfar or St Johnstone v Dundee Utd
Livingston or Dundee v Ayr Utd or Brechin
Raith Rovers or Airdrie Utd v Aberdeen
Kilmarnock or Falkirk v Inverness or Motherwell
St Mirren v Rangers or Hamilton
Ross County or Inverurie Locos v Albion Rovers or Stirling Albion.
Ties to played over the weekend of February 6-7