RANGERS may have fluffed their lines on the first day of the season but skipper Lee Wallace believes the Light Blues’ supporting cast will be vital if they are to stick to the script of a title challenge.
The Ibrox outfit were struggling to get going after falling behind to Ali Crawford’s sensational Hamilton opener on Saturday.
But the introduction of Harry Forrester after an hour gave Gers renewed spark, with the former Doncaster playmaker setting up Martyn Waghorn to rescue a point for Mark Warburton’s team.
The boss started with three of his nine summer signings against Accies - Joey Barton, Niko Kranjcar and Clint Hill - but also had the option of using Michael O’Halloran, Jordan Rossiter, Jason Holt and Joe Dodoo from the bench and Wallace believes that strength in depth will be crucial this term.
Speaking after the 1-1 draw, the Rangers captain said: “The positive is that when we look at our bench, we have the kind of options we didn’t have last year when numbers were short.
“It was a really strong bench - probably one of the strongest we have fielded in the manager’s reign here.
“That’s great because we know teams are going to work so hard to stop us like Hamilton did.
“But when you can make changes on the hour we have great strength, great speed, great experience, great skill - everything you could want to call on.
“That helped us continue that domination of the ball. We know the game was slightly open but we had to get ourselves back in the game.”
Gers may need to turn to their understudies in the coming weeks after seeing last year’s top scorer Waghorn limp off with a hamstring injury eight minutes from time after chasing a long Wallace throw into the corner.
But Wallace is optimistic the injury is not as bad as first feared.
“I think Martyn is all right,” he said. “He was more upbeat after the game than he was coming off the pitch, so we’re positive on that front.
“I asked him how he was and half joked that I won’t be making that throw-in again. I’m regretting that one now.
“Here’s hoping it won’t be too bad.”
Crawford swept Accies ahead after 30 minutes after making a fool out of Kranjcar at the back post and was happy to spoil Gers’ league flag party following last term’s promotion.
He said: “We knew it was going to be tough coming here. They were unfurling the flag and the atmosphere was going to be electric, so it was up to us to kill that. My goal quietened the place and gave us something to hold on to. It was a good point and good way to start the season.”