GRAEME MURTY declared himself “proud” of his players as they managed to overcome “exceptional” Ayr United at Somerset Park this afternoon.

The Light Blues gaffer was thrilled with the manner of his side’s second half showing where they hit five goals without reply to end the game with a 6-1 success.

And, despite falling behind early-on, he admits he was never worried.

Speaking to RangersTV, Murty said: “I’m proud of the players. It was difficult and I thought that Ayr, for 60-70 minutes were exceptional in their application, their workrate and their understanding, and they had a lot of quality as well.

“But, we stayed patient and in the second half, we started to carve open opportunities. We had a little change of the shape into a 4-4-2 for a little bit of it, and we looked a little bit more comfortable in that, but I was always comfortable, even at 1-0 down, that we had enough quality on the pitch and on the bench for us to cause them problems, and thankfully, we managed to score at good times.”

Some of Gers second half play was quite wonderful, and Murty wants that to be an example for his side to look back on.

He continued: “The tempo, and the quality and the clarity and the cleanness and sharpness of the play is where we want to be.

“We are not going to get there all the time, and we need to understand that and not get frustrated.

“That’s where we need to be a little bit more patient, but when we do up that tempo and go up a gear, I think we are very, very difficult to play against, and we need to isolate those moments, show them back to the players, and if you could bottle it, it would be worth quite a bit of money.”

Ayr’s opening goal came as Wes Foderingham miscontrolled a backpass from David Bates after just 12-minutes, allowing Alan Forest to pounce.

The Ibrox gaffer backed his goalkeeper to bounce back, however, and said: “It can happen at any time, especially the way we want to play. We want to play with Wes as the next outfield player and we want to be able to utilise him, but these things happen.

“They went and pressed at the right time and managed to get a goal from it. As frustrating as it is for Wes, he knows we have his back and these things are part of football.

“Wes has taken ownership of it and I never had any doubts that he is a big enough guy to come back from it, and I thought that, in the second half, he looked comfortable.”

Alfredo Morelos also had one moment to forget, missing a chance from close range in the first half before pouncing minutes later to level the game.

On him, Murty added: “That’s the striker in him. He wants to get in there and wants to go and score, and I think he picked a really high-level technique to go and score.

“He lashed it into the goal where I would have side-footed it. But, that is the measure of a centre-forward. They want to get in there and they want to score goals, and in this team, the way we actually can play, we can create chances.”

 

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