GRAEME MURTY was left with mixed emotions after his Rangers Reserve side dominated today’s league encounter with Ross County – but came out losing the game.
Gers played some super football against the Staggies and created a sackful of chances, but time and again they were denied with the Highlanders claiming all three points with a 2-1 win.
Speaking to RangersTV, coach Murty explained: “I’m disappointed with the result but I am pleased with the players’ application and the way they went about it.
“I am pleased with some of the way we dealt with their press and their structure and we create chance after chance after chance and missed a penalty, then we have given them a way to win the game.
“I think that has come from us – though I think we were really competitive and played well. I thought we were the better team and we have managed, somehow, to give them two goals.
“The players in there are trying to deal with the fact they didn’t deserve to lose, but as we keep on saying to them, if they are not clinical and not ruthless, this game has a way of knocking you down.
“As much as I am pleased with the way we played, we need now to be clinical and ruthless and we didn’t do that enough, albeit the build-up into the final third and the final action was the only thing that was missing.
“There are little structural things that annoyed me – like the way we set up at set-pieces when the ball goes dead – things that we have to work on and enhance.
“But there will be lots of clips where we say to them ‘that’s really good’ and all that is missing is the final part.
“We will continue to work on that but these guys need to realise when the game is like that – and I thought for 30 minutes in the second half that is as well as we have played – but when the game is like that, they need to be relentless and they need to be ruthless.
“When the game starts to get a little bit lax and stretched and they start to get fatigued, that’s when their voice needs to come in.
“They need to start taking ownership of the game and someone needs to take control of the structure of the game by the scruff of the neck and lead.
“There were lots of players who were very comfortable on the ball, but we didn’t have enough leaders and enough voices to make sure we were organised before their attacks.
“When we get that, they will be ready as there are lots of bits which are really, really good, but there are lots of bits they need to improve.”
With Andy Dallas and Zak Rudden both being loaned out, Gers began the game without a recognised striker on the pitch, though Murty was pleased with the job done there by Josh McPake.
“I thought Josh McPake led the line really well. He is a 10 normally or plays as a wide man, but we asked him to be a centre forward and I thought he dealt with it admirably.
“We played some good passes into him and he looks a threat, albeit we would have liked him to score.
“But he rotated into that position and that will just add to his learning. He now knows he has to come short at times, make the game and be reliable.
“But also, he has to stretch the game in behind and I thought he did that really well considering about 3pm yesterday he was a doubt for the game and he managed to get through the 90 minutes really well.”