Rangers caretaker manager Graeme Murty admitted the Ibrox club’s fans deserve better after they fell to a first defeat at Dens Park since 1992.
Murty watched his side fall two goals behind to Dundee in a first half when they were second to everything. While the visitors improved in the second half and pulled a goal back through Joe Garner, it was not enough to prevent them slipping six points behind Aberdeen in the race for second place.
“The fans have been through the wringer and they deserve better than we gave them,” said Murty afterwards. “We can say we’ll endeavour to put those things right. At half-time we addressed certain issues but we need to be better than just showing commitment.”
Murty, who has been in charge for two matches, claimed he had no insight into what stage the search for Mark Warburton’s replacement has reached. “It’ll come as it comes. The players nor I can be in control of that,” he said.
“They can only be in control of their attitude and physicality when they walk on to the pitch. There is no other time to go and put it right than on the pitch. They need to be ready to go.
“The disruption [of the manager upheaval] has got nothing to do with players showing the right attitude and commitment,” he added. “They were fully prepared, they know what it meant, that they would have a battle and have to more than match that.
“But I’ve been honest and told them they didn’t do that for 45 minutes.”
Mark O’Hara, who was born three years after Dundee last beat Rangers at Dens, scored the opener after 12 minutes – his second goal in two starts against the Ibrox side this season.
Left-back Kevin Holt added a second with a curling free-kick five minutes before half-time. While Garner cut the deficit just after the hour mark, Rangers could not prevent making it three league games without a win. They have league games against Inverness Caledonian Thistle and St Johnstone to come before a trip to faceCeltic at Parkhead.
Dundee, meanwhile, rose to sixth place with yesterday’s win. Hartley admitted the length of time since giving the home fans something to cheer about against Rangers was beginning to weigh heavily.
“I remember the game,” he said, referring to Dundee’s last win at Dens against Rangers – a thrilling 4-3 victory in August 1992. “The supporters will remember this just as fondly. It’s not often you beat Rangers and Celtic. We were underdogs but always knew we had a chance if we could put that performance in.”
“I thought it was a real team performance,” he added. “How we performed and the way we want about it. Our attitude was outstanding.
“It does take us into the top six, but it’s about the manner of the win. We know we’ve got that in us. Consistency has been our problem.“We changed our shape, pressed Rangers all over the pitch, because we were determined that we didn’t let them settle. We played a high press. I never thought we were in danger,
even when they scored, because that came from the one time we didn’t press properly. We were never in trouble.”
Rangers’ day was further soured by defender Clint Hill being forced off during the first half after a head knock. A booking picked up by Garner also means he has gone through the disciplinary points barrier and will miss next month’s trip to faceCeltic.