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Rangers are prepared to win ugly: Dean Shiels

By Andy Newport

Dean Shiels admits Rangers are happy to win ugly as long as it keeps them in touch with Scottish Championship rivals Hearts.

Last month's 2-0 defeat to the Tynecastle outfit has left Ally McCoist's side with a nine-point gap to bridge if they want to lift the title.

But while Hearts were flamboyantly scoring four goals past Queen of the South at home, Rangers stumbled to a joyless 1-0 win over Cowdenbeath at Ibrox.

A drab affair was only enlightened briefly when Cowdenbeath defender Nat Wedderburn turned Shiels' cross into his own net 13 minutes after half-time.

It was far from pretty but the Northern Irishman was just happy not to lose any further ground.

He said: "The most important thing was getting the win - we can't afford to drop any more points.

"We want to be winning our games, we had to grind it out and thankfully we did that.

"The game should have been a lot easier for us and a lot easier for the fans - that would only have come from us taking our chances and making the game ours.

"We shouldn't have given the opposition as much of a look-in towards the end and we dropped deep and got a wee bit nervy.

"That is sometimes the natural instinct when you're defending a 1-0 lead but we shouldn't have been in that position.

"If you don't take your second and third chances then it does become difficult for the team and you could sense that."

The 29-year-old came in to replace the injured Lewis Macleod for just his third start of the season.

His reintroduction was the only change to the side which suffered Wednesday's humiliating 3-2 defeat to Alloa in the Petrofac Training Cup semi-final.

Shiels played 80 minutes of that match after Macleod was stretchered off with a hamstring tear and was given the full 90 against the Blue Brazil.

He was far from the worst performer in either encounter but knows he will have to continue making his mark.

"I haven't had much game time so when I do get a chance to play I try and make as much of an impact as I can," he said.

"There is a lot of competition for places and when you do get your chance you need to make an impact. You have to take your chance when it comes and I try and work my socks off in training.

"I got a good lay off from Kenny Miller for the goal, I've ran off him and I just tried to stick it in the area and thankfully it's gone in.

"I'll be grand come Friday for Queen of the South, I've got five or six days to recover."

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