Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

McCulloch: we will fight to end for McCoist

Rangers 2 Motherwell 1: Rangers’ players are desperate to make amends to manager Ally McCoist and the fans for a poor run of results when the club was plunged into administration, according to Lee McCulloch.

The Scottish champions suffered defeats to Kilmarnock, Hearts and Dundee United after they were forced to call in the administrators on February 14.

However, Rangers now seem to have put off-field troubles to one side to produce an impressive Old Firm derby win over Celtic last weekend, followed by Saturday's 2-1 victory over Motherwell in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

And McCulloch said: “We have something to prove to the manager and the fans. We took a bit of a beating results-wise when we just went into administration.

“I don't know why that was, maybe it was feeling sorry for ourselves. I honestly don't know.

“But hopefully we have turned the corner now with the result last week and getting an important three points again.”

The win allowed Rangers to move six points clear of Motherwell in the battle for second spot, as well as delaying Celtic's title party for at least another week.

But, after being docked 10 points by the SPL for entering administration, McCulloch insists catching their Glasgow rivals was never a realistic target as a result of those sanctions regardless of their previous results.

He said: “We had 10 points taken away from us and that was matters which were taken out of our own hands. From now on, we've just got to look forward and hopefully pick up three points again next week.”

Henrik Ojamaa netted an early opener for Motherwell before Steven Whittaker levelled for Rangers. Utility man McCulloch then grabbed the winner with two minutes to go.

He said: “It was a hard game. They are a really good team and they made it tough for us.

“It was hard for our midfielders to get on the ball and dictate the game. It was good to get the three points at the end.

“It did mean a lot. I worked pretty hard and didn't really have any clear-cut chances. To get the goal at the death was special.”

The outcome could have been more comfortable had Sone Aluko been awarded a penalty when he was fouled in the box by goalkeeper Darren Randolph.

But the player was handed a yellow card for diving by referee Iain Brines instead.

Asked if he had sympathy for his team-mate, McCulloch said: “A big bit of sympathy.

“For me, that was a stonewall penalty.”