Rangers: Lee McCulloch sets sights on cup wins
The Light Blues laboured to a barely-deserved 1-0 win over East Fife on Saturday but the three points takes them to within two wins of the third-tier championship.
With one trophy pretty much in the bag, Ally McCoist’s team can now focus on Saturday’s William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final clash with Albion Rovers, while they also have next month’s Ramsdens Cup final against Raith to look forward to.
Those cup opportunities are a welcome distraction for the Gers faithful after supporter coalition group the Union of Fans declared war on the unpopular Ibrox board this week, threatening to support former director Dave King’s plan to set up a trust that would drip-feed season-ticket cash to the club.
But while the power struggle continues off the field, McCulloch insists the fans’ backing for the players on it has never wavered.
The Rangers captain - whose last-minute penalty punished Gary Naismith’s Fifers - said: “For the way the fans have supported us, especially this season and last when they have been fantastic, they deserve more silverware.
“So it would be great if we could give them more than just a league title.”
Rangers toiled at New Bayview on Saturday as they lacked menace in the final third for most of the match.
Dean Shiels wasted an early chance after David Templeton sent him in behind the home defence while Nicky Law thumped a post with his shot on the half hour.
But that was about as much as McCoist’s sloppy side created until the third minute of stoppage time when Templeton’s trickery fooled Pat Clarke into a reckless challenge which earned his side a spot-kick.
Skipper McCulloch took responsibility as he calmly stroked the ball into the bottom corner to claim Rangers’ 25th league win of the season.
“If we are winning games, that is all that matters really,” said the goalscorer before admitting he and his team-mates had failed to hit top gear.
“As players, if we are looking solely at our own performances against East Fife then I think we were solid enough. We just didn’t have that cutting edge that we have had most games this season.
“But you are going to get that during a season, one or two average games.
“Hopefully it is not the case that because we are so close to the title we don’t have the same intensity as we did at the beginning of the season.
“When the finishing line is in sight, sometimes it is easy to take your foot off the pedal. We just need to concentrate and get over the line.
“Then we have got some important games with the two cups that we are still in to focus on and we can give them our main focus.
“But you won’t hear anyone shouting about what we are going to do this season. We will just show our hard work and desire and see where we go from there.”