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Rangers manager Ally sings McCulloch's praises

By Lisa Gray

Rangers 5 Arbroath 1: Rangers boss Ally McCoist hailed the "staggering" achievement of Lee McCulloch after the centre-back grabbed a hat-trick for the second straight game in Saturday's 5-1 Scottish League One win over Arbroath.

McCoist finally got to unleash six of his summer signings, who had been restricted to bit-part roles until the registration embargo was lifted on September 1.

But, amid all the hype over the long-awaited appearances of the new arrivals, it was an old face who turned the game in the hosts' favour after an impressive hour from Arbroath.

The spirited visitors opened the scoring two minutes into the second half through a delightful Alan Cook lob before conceding five goals in the last 30 minutes.

Two headed goals by McCulloch either side of a superb 30-yard pile-driver into the top corner, had McCoist singing his praises.

"It is a staggering feat for Lee. And I think scoring a hat-trick from a centre-half position, without even a penalty, is a remarkable achievement," he said.

Bilel Mohsni and Andy Little were also on target for McCoist's side.

The Rangers boss was not surprised by how hard his new-look side found it to break down Arbroath.

"I never said it would be easy throwing six of our summer signings into the game and I thought we started quite well, but then we lost the edge a little," he said.

McCulloch, who until two weeks ago had not scored one hat-trick in his senior career mostly deployed as a striker, was modest when reflecting on his achievement.

McCulloch said: "I was delighted on a personal level to get another hat-trick in a different position, but the management know I will play anywhere on the pitch without any problems whatsoever."

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