Lee McCulloch altered tactics after Rangers named team early

Kilmarnock boss Lee McCulloch used Rangers' early team selection as part of his own team talk. Picture: SNS
Kilmarnock boss Lee McCulloch used Rangers' early team selection as part of his own team talk. Picture: SNS
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Kilmarnock interim manager Lee McCulloch admitted he changed his tactics accordingly after hearing opposite number Pedro Caixinha named his team more than 24 hours before kick-off.

McCulloch’s side fought out a 0-0 draw with Rangers at Rugby Park last night and the point was a better outcome for the hosts than the injury-hit visitors.

Rangers are still 12 points behind Aberdeen in the race for second place. While the teams play twice more, with the first clash this Sunday at Pittodrie, catching Derek McInnes’ side now looks a tall order for Rangers.

“Slightly yes,” said McCulloch when asked if he had changed his tactics after Caixinha reeled off his team in a surprise move on the eve of the match.

“I’ve never heard of it done before in Scottish football. Don’t they do it in rugby?” he added. “I didn’t change the starting XI but I used it in the dressing room, I used it as part of the team talk. If the manager wants to name his team before the game he can. I wouldn’t do it. I would wait an hour and 15 minutes [before kick-off] before giving it into the referee’s room.”

Caixinha challenged his team to raise their game against Aberdeen on Sunday after two successive draws against Motherwell and Kilmarnock.

“It’s getting difficult,” admitted Caixinha. “We know we need to play twice against Aberdeen and that they have to play against all of the top six again. The maths says it can still be done but the next game will be crucial to understand if you are able or not. If you don’t win Sunday against Aberdeen, you don’t deserve to be in 
second position.”