It wasn’t a great performance against Kilmarnock, but the players deserve some credit for how they kept working hard and finally getting the goal to win the game. Here are my opinions on how the players rated on the day.
JAK ALNWICK – 7
Alnwick made a great double save in the first half. After seeing his block of Boyd’s free-kick fall to Tshibola in the 6-yard box, he was able to get back up and stop the midfielder from scoring. He only had another couple of saves to make in the match beyond those, which were routine. His distribution was good, and unlucky not to lead to great chances. When you consider how he must have felt after last weekend, it was a solid performance.
JAMES TAVERNIER – 7
In an attacking sense, Tavernier struggled a little. His passing was erratic and his crosses not finding the target. Whilst he took players on well, it was generally in his own half. Defensively, though, he pretty much nullified Jordan Jones the entire match. More than once, he showed him the outside and was able to cleanly win the ball and get possession back for Rangers. His defending was a vital part of the win.
DAVID BATES – 8
When you consider Bates had missed 6 weeks of action, his performance showed just how much he’s improved this season. He matched Boyd in the physical duels, passed the ball well, and scored the winning goal. He was good at covering for Martin any time the veteran defender got caught up the park a little also. In a purely defensive sense, it’s clear he’s the best option Rangers have at the moment.
RUSSELL MARTIN – 6
Martin was pretty solid overall in this match. He won headers and tackles, and partnered well with Bates. He wasn’t exposed as often as in previous matches, which allowed him to be a bit more confident in his positioning. There were also a number of long passes out to Tavernier on the right which were spot on. Due to his performances overall, Rusell Martin won’t win over the fans. In this match, he was part of a strong enough defensive display.
ANDY HALLIDAY – 6
It was something of a mixed performance for Halliday. In the first half, he got caught out more than once defensively, and gave away some daft fouls. Going forward, he seemed reluctant to overlap, which left Murphy often facing 2 or 3 defenders. He did improve in the second half, however. One early run led to a great chance which just evaded Candeias in the middle. He tightened up defensively, and was able to offer an option on the left to stretch the game.
GRAHAM DORRANS – 6
Dorrans doesn’t look like he’s at his sharpest, and it’s affecting his confidence. He was moved around the midfield areas in this match, starting quite deep then moving further forward. In the first half, he was frustrating, as his passing wasn’t as accurate as normal. He did set up Murphy for a good chance, but had little other impact. In the second half, when moved forward, he was a bit more effective, but overall it wasn’t his day.
JASON HOLT – 6
Holt played with a lot of drive and energy, but seemed to struggle with his passing. In the first half, a seemingly easy through ball was hit too long. There was also a simple 10-yard pass to Tavernier in the second half which was overhit. He pressed well and won the ball in advanced areas, but wasn’t able to really affect the match.
DANIEL CANDEIAS – 6
Candeias helped stretch the game, and got a lot of crosses in. None of them found a Rangers player, though. He was able to win the ball well in the Kilmarnock half, and tried to run at the defence as often as possible. In many respects, his performance summed up the day for Rangers. Full of endeavour, but struggled with quality in the final third. He deserved the Player of the Year award he won through fan votes, but it wasn’t his best day on Saturday.
JASON CUMMINGS – 4
Cummings was asked to play the deep-lying forward role that Windass has been used in. Whilst he tried to get involved, he seemed to be really struggling, with sluggish movement and too many flicks or backheels attempted. He couldn’t get facing the Kilmarnock goal often enough. Substituted at half time as he was feeling ill.
JAMIE MURPHY – 7
Murphy was involved in a lot of Rangers good attacking play. He had a header which hit the bar, a shot he dragged just wide, and found Halliday with a perfect pass in the second half which could have led to more. Too often, he was given the ball slowly, having to face multiple players from a standing start. It wasn’t his most effective game, but he certainly offered more than most Rangers players on the day.
ALFREDO MORELOS – 6
Morelos worked hard, and gave the Kilmarnock defence some issues. His physicality and movement meant they had to be wary of him at all times. With the team not as fluent going forward as they could be, the striker was unable to get any shots at goal during the match. Without his ability to hold a ball up and link play, the performance would have been even worse.
ROSS McCRORIE – 7
McCrorie only played 45 minutes, but he changed the match for Rangers. He won more tackles than anyone else, and even had a few attempts at goal. The team looked more balanced with him in midfield, and that allowed more players to get forward.
SEAN GOSS – 4
Goss set up the goal and done well in his 20 minutes on the park. He lost out in a few challenges, but wasn’t asked to do the defensive side too much.
Any ratings you disagree with? Tweet us @abouttherangers with your thoughts!