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Stuart McCall is hoping Livingston can do Rangers a huge favour

Dumbarton 1 - Rangers 3

Published 20/04/2015

Double delight: Ryan Hardie is congratulated after hitting a brace against Dumbarton on his full debut for the club
Double delight: Ryan Hardie is congratulated after hitting a brace against Dumbarton on his full debut for the club
Stuart McCall

Stuart McCall admits he will become a Livingston fan for the day on Wednesday as he prays the Scottish Championship strugglers can do his side's play-off bid a favour.

Livi gave Gers a headache last week when they held them to a 1-1 draw at the Energy Assets Arena and they now take on Hibernian in midweek.

The Easter Road outfit slipped four points behind McCall's side on Saturday while they were busy getting knocked out of the William Hill Scottish Cup by Falkirk as Rangers were winning 3-1 at Dumbarton in league action.

However, Hibs can close back to within a point of second place if they win their game in hand with Mark Burchill's Livingston.

With both teams desperate to finish as runners-up to new champions Hearts and spare themselves two extra hazardous games in the play-offs, McCall is now praying Livi give Hibs as hard a time as they did his side.

He said: "I'll be there on Wednesday with my Livingston scarf on. We played them and know what a tough game it will be.

"Hibs will be disappointed with what happened at Hampden but they'll now focus on promotion and we've got to focus on ourselves - we've got two big games left and want to win both."

Rangers clinched the points at the weekend after 18-year-old striker Ryan Hardie claimed a dream double on his full debut.

Former Celtic striker Mark Wilson put the Sons ahead after just two minutes with his first goal since netting an Old Firm winner against Gers back in March 2011, but Hardie saved the day with his brace before Haris Vuckic swept home a 25-yard beauty to put the seal on the Glasgow side's victory.

McCall was delighted for his young frontman Hardie - but was cautious when asked if the teenager could be the man to fire Rangers back to the Premiership.

"We only told Ryan at lunchtime that he was playing, we showed him the areas of the park we wanted him to get into and that's where his first goal came from," said the Gers boss.

"The kid is a goalscorer and he's got great energy and good pace. He's very raw naturally because he's young but you can't do much more than score two on your debut.

"I'm delighted for the kid and hopefully that's him on his way to a lot of goals for Rangers. I'm a horses for courses manager and we'll change things but Ryan did what we hoped he would do and his confidence is high so it's a nice problem for next week."

On-loan Newcastle playmaker Vuckic's goal was a sublime strike but McCall admits he had to give the Slovenian a half-time talking to after he went missing for Wilson's opener.

He said: "We were right behind Haris for his goal and as soon as he cut in on his left foot we weren't surprised to see his shot go into the net.

"He got a bit of a roasting at half-time because Mark Wilson was his man and he switched off. When you play in wide areas you've got to have the nous and desire to track back.

"He switched off for a second and it landed where he should have been, but we'll forgive him because of his goal.

"Everyone gives something different to the team but they're all aware of their responsibilities."

Belfast Telegraph

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