GRAEME MURTY questioned his side’s desire and willingness, particularly in the first half, following this afternoon’s 2-1 defeat to Dundee at Dens Park.

The Light Blues found themselves 2-0 down at the interval following goals from Mark O’Hara and Kevin Holt before hitting back through Joe Garner in the second period.

The caretaker boss admitted there was a better nature to the performance in the second half, but he was still an unhappy man with the overall performance and end result.

Speaking to, he said: “I’ve just said to them, you can’t afford to start at half time. You can’t afford to start with the intensity, pace and tempo of the game, and you can’t afford to give an team a two-goal head start.

“We were lacking in many departments in the first-half, and not least, the desire and willingness to go and run hard and compete hard. They had it more than we did in the first period, and that wasn’t right at all.

“There was a reaction in terms of commitment and intensity, but there wasn’t enough control in the game. We didn’t have enough control and play the way we wanted to play. This team is still built to dominate the ball and we didn’t keep the ball for long enough for us to be able to do that.

“Having said that, the one time we actually did shift the ball around and pull their shape apart, we showed what we are capable of and got a goal. But it can’t take until 60-70-80 minutes into a game before you try and do those things we are good at and practice in training every day.  It has to be right from the get-go.

“It’s not coming to Dens Park – it’s going anywhere with a Rangers shirt on. You are a target because this is a massive club and people want to beat you, and rightly so.

“You have to deal with that expectation and more-than match what they are going to bring. If they are going to bring the intensity and tempo and aggression, then that’s fine, but we have to more than match that and let the quality of the football show through.

“We were deficient in those aspects all the way through the game and we were second best. But, I’ve said to the players there’s no way we walk out of here with our heads down as that is what people are expecting from us now. You have to take it on the chin, and we have to take responsibility for what we did.”

On the opportunities in the second half, Murty said: “Harry had a wee chance, I thought he’d scored, I thought it was made for him. He’d had one just previous where he almost arrived on to a cross.

“We carved out opportunities through endeavor rather than through good play I would say, and fair pay to Dundee, I thought they were clinical in the first period.

“At this level you have to take chances, if you don’t you open yourself up to what happened to us today.”

Murty admitted it was too early to look back at any positives he can take from the 90 minutes.

He added: “It’s still a little bit too raw at the moment actually, to take positives from it, because I’m still hurting, I’m still a bit annoyed and a bit frustrated.

“The things I take from it are for me privately to actually go away and reflect upon and actually come back as a better coach, better able to implement stuff for the players to make sure that kind of stuff doesn’t happen again.

“Be in no doubt it’s not just the players who are hurting, every single member of staff is hurting and I have to make sure that we don’t put them in that position again.”



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