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Caixinha left to rue Gers' frailties as 10-man Jags secure point

Partick Thistle 2 Rangers 2

By Andy Newport

Pedro Caixinha admits Rangers need to sharpen up at both ends of the pitch after watching his side blow the chance to draw level with the Ladbrokes Premiership pace-setters.

The Light Blues were looking to put pressure on Aberdeen and Celtic ahead of their fixtures today as they took on Partick Thistle at the Energy Check Stadium.

But having been held to a 2-2 draw by Alan Archibald's men they could now end up five points adrift of their rivals by the time next week's Old Firm showdown comes round.

And Caixinha admits his side - who have kept just one clean sheet from six league games this term - need to improve their act both in defence and attack.

Alfredo Morelos continued his hot-streak with his eighth goal in six games to put Gers ahead after 19 minutes but when they switched off after half-time, Blair Spittal and Chris Erskine were able to pounce for the Jags.

Graham Dorrans did sweep home a stunning equaliser after Erskine was sent-off for a lunge on Morelos but Caixinha confessed his men wasted too many openings.

He said: "I'm disappointed. I think we dropped two points.

"We were coming with just one desire - three points.

"When we scored with 15 minutes left I had the idea that we would push on for the win.

"But during the first half when we had such clear chances to go and kill the game and didn't take them, I had a feeling it would cost us.

"The reality is the game penalises you in that direction."

He added: "The problem is on the conceded goals.

"We're averaging 1.2 before this game and it needs to be below one. I'm not concerned about it but I'm working in that direction."

The draw also cost Caixinha the chance to register three straight wins for the first time since he was appointed back in March.

"It was a missed chance for us to combine three wins in a row, that was our objective when we came here," admitted the Portuguese coach.

"We deserved more than we got, we did enough to win that football match."

Skipper Lee Wallace had to be replaced by on-loan Cardiff defender Declan John after just 12 minutes when he suffered a repeat of his groin injury but Caixinha is unsure if that will rule him out of next week's Celtic clash.

He said: "I'll need to evaluate the situation with the doctors. Now is premature to talk about it."

Thistle's wait for their first win of the season continues but Archibald was pleased to see his side stand strong in the face of Gers' late onslaught.

He said: "That's great for the lads, it gives them a bit more confidence and belief - especially with 10 men.

"It was a red card. I've no complaints. Chris hasn't got a bad bone in his body - he can't tackle, he's never been able to tackle.

"It came from taking too many touches. That was a bad habit right through our team tonight."

Partick: Scully, McGinn, Keown, Devine, Elliot, Barton, Turnbull, Spittal (Bannigan, 82 mins), Edwards, Erskine, Storey (Sammon, 80 mins). Unused subs: Nitriansky, Sneddon, , Doolan, Lawless, McCarthy.

Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, Fabio Cardoso, Bruno Alves, Wallace (John, 12 mins), Candeias, Jack (Pena, 63 mins), Dorrans, Windass, Miller (Herrera, 56 mins), Morelos. Unused subs: D Wilson, Dalcio, Holt, Alnwick.

Man of the match: Declan John

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Willie Collum

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