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Murty can see room to improve despite Windass' terrific treble

Fraserburgh 0-3 Rangers

On target: Rangers Josh Windass (right) celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game with Andrew Halliday
On target: Rangers Josh Windass (right) celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game with Andrew Halliday

By Andy Newport

Josh Windass' hat-trick gave Rangers a 3-0 victory as they produced a professional display to dispatch Fraserburgh from the Scottish Cup.

The clash took place 59 years to the day that the Highland League minnows knocked Dundee - then one of Scotland's strongest sides sitting atop the old First Division - out of the cup to claim the biggest win in their history.

But thankfully for Gers there was no repeat as Windass struck early before adding another two after the break to nudge Graeme Murty's men into the fifth round.

While Burgh ended the game with 10 men after substitute Graham Johnston got himself sent off near the end, Rangers' reward for avoiding this potential banana skin is a trip to Ayr on February 11.

Murty said: "The conditions played a part, but it was a clean sheet , a win, three goals and we're pleased to be through.

"There was definitely an improvement in the second half. I was a little bit frustrated (at half-time), we were opening spaces up then turning back. You can't keep on doing that. We looked a threat, but played 70% of the game from 50 yards out. We didn't penetrate.

"I have to be calm in how I look at it. The pitch was hard, the game won't be like that in the Premier League. The most important thing was that we got through and nobody is injured.

"It was three good goals (from Windass) but I spent 20 minutes telling him to run forward, so that he engaged the back line.

"He's good on one v ones and we wanted him to do that more often than drop deep. When he gets the ball, he can accelerate the game, so we want him to do that more. Three goals, he's quite happy in the changing room."

Alfredo Morales was the subject of an £8m bid from Chinese outfit Beijing Renhe but he was on the coach for the trip to Aberdeenshire after being named on the bench.

"It's a big challenge for us as a club to make sure we have done right by (Morelos) and we have. We just need to make sure the player is calm and he knows we can get him to the next level. He's our player and we can make sure he gets that big move, we can improve him," added Murty.

Gers got the breakthrough on the quarter-hour mark.

It was a touch of quality from Niko Kranjcar as he dinked the ball in behind the Burgh back-line for Jason Holt. But before the midfielder could pull the trigger he was flattened by Ryan Cowie's clumsy challenge - referee Greg Aitken pointed to the spot and Windass eased Light Blue nerves.

Kranjcar almost provided another spark on 27 minutes as he rattled the crossbar.

However, it took 10 minutes into the second half for the Glasgow giants to roar. Kranjcar flicked on a Lee Hodson cross for Cummings, who failed to get a proper connection but still managed to knock it on for Windass, who calmly finished.

And he claimed the match ball as he drilled home once again to put gloss on the scoreline.

Johnston had only been on a matter of moments when he got his marching orders in the 85th minute, following a crude lunge on Joe Dodoo.

Belfast Telegraph


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