Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

McCulloch in mood to break Rangers' away duck

Lee McCulloch scored twice against Queen's Park
Lee McCulloch scored twice against Queen's Park

Rangers 2 Queen's Park 0: Rangers captain Lee McCulloch likened next Sunday's trip to Clyde to a cup final after his double against Queen's Park put his club back on top of the Irn-Bru Third Division.

Rangers recovered from their defeat at bottom club Stirling with a 2-0 derby victory, but they were far from convincing and McCulloch's second goal came in injury-time after Queen's had pushed their hosts back for much of the final quarter in front of a 49,463 crowd.

McCulloch was handed a tap-in in the 57th minute after Dean Shiels had opened up the visiting defence but the floodgates failed to open and the amateurs had a great chance to equalise following the best move of the game but Andrew Robertson could only hit Neil Alexander with his shot after being sent clean through.

But the victory was welcomed by manager Ally McCoist after the defeat in Stirling and McCulloch has now targeted their first away victory of the league season when they travel to Broadwood.

The Rangers striker, who took his goal tally for the season to 13, said: “With going top of the league, I think we should be looking at next week like a cup final.

“Everyone knows our away form has been nowhere near good enough. If we treat next week like a cup final and get a positive result, then we can certainly try and kick on from there as well.”

Rangers needed to take Queen’s seriously too and McCulloch revealed there had been some heated discussions at half-time.

Rangers had good spells at either end of the first half but the Spiders matched them in possession for the majority of the first 45 minutes and created several half-chances.

McCulloch, whose second goal was another tap-in, after substitute Barrie McKay hit the bar, said: “The players were obviously disappointed and at half-time today and there are four or five different arguments, and we are all getting uptight.

“It just shows there are a lot of winners in the dressing room, that 0-0 at half-time is annoying the players and they expect more from each other.

“I think that showed in the second half with the way we played.

“I think it's a healthy thing if boys are arguing, as long as it's not getting ridiculous, which it isn't. It just shows a will to win.

“And it's good to see the young boys getting involved as well, and they are not scared to speak up to the experienced ones. It's all looking good.”

Queen's Park manager Gardner Spiers, whose team arrived at Ibrox as league leaders, praised his players for showing the belief to mount a serious challenge to Rangers.

“I don't think there will be many teams who come here and expect to win but the important thing is the players believe if they play well it's possible they can do well,” he said.

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