sport

McCulloch: Rangers will rally

Lee McCulloch admits it was unlikely Rangers would win every single Scottish League One game after dropping their first points on Boxing Day.

The Light Blues had been aiming for an impressive 21st win in a row when they hosted Stranraer at Ibrox on Thursday.

But Ally McCoist's men were left reeling when Jamie Longworth's injury-time leveller cancelled out McCulloch's first-half penalty to claim a share of the spoils.

The result left Rangers' 100 per cent league record in tatters but McCulloch insists the focus is on making amends at Dunfermline on Monday rather than dwelling on what was always an unlikely achievement.

The skipper said: "I don't think anyone in the dressing room or the management have said we would win every league game.

"Has a team ever done that? I don't think so. The boys are all level-headed in there.

"We all know we weren't good enough in the last game.

"We've let the fans and management down and each individual has a chance to put it right on Monday.

"Everyone was talking about the record, but in the dressing room we were like 'now that it's gone, it's gone.'

"We're still in a very healthy league position like we set out to be at the start of the season."

The Ibrox utility man insists Rangers have no option but to bounce back quickly from the disappointment against Stranraer when they travel to East End Park.

He said: "I thought in the second half we let ourselves down.

"We weren't at our best in the first half, but we got our goal.

"Usually we go on to kill the game in the second half by getting two, three or four, but the players on the pitch let the management and the fans down.

"But the positives are that at least we have got a chance to bounce back on Monday in what is quite a big game for us.

"When you play at this club you need to bounce back.

"We don't have to wait too long for the next game, so we'll be looking forward to Monday night to get a chance to put things right."

He added: "I think it had been 19 days since our last game.

"Then again, as a player and captain of this team, we should still have been winning that game.

"We were bit rusty. Maybe mentality-wise we were a wee bit lazy.

"With the Christmas period, you look for every excuse under the sun, but the boys on the pitch should be doing a lot better, myself included."

The last meeting against Dunfermline proved to be a bruising experience for Rangers, with several players needing hospital treatment and McCulloch himself requiring stitches in a head wound.

But he believes the clash with their closest league rivals is the ideal game following the set-back against Stranraer.

McCulloch said: "That's the way their manager has always set his teams up - physical, but fair.

"They're a good team and have got some good players so it is going to be tough.

"I don't think we could have picked a better place to play coming off the back of the Stranraer game."