Graeme Murty reminded Josh Windass of his responsibilities after the midfielder apologised for the “shush” gesture he made to Rangers fans in midweek.
The 24-year-old attacker, pictured, put his finger to his lips after scoring in front of the travelling supporters during the 2-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win at Partick Thistle on Tuesday.
Murty had promised to look at the incident and, ahead of tomorrow’s Scottish Cup tie at Ayr, revealed Windass had said sorry. The Rangers boss said: “I’ve spoken to him. Josh is aware of his responsibility both as a professional athlete and a Rangers player. He has the responsibility to conduct himself in a certain manner.
“He is a very off-the-cuff kind of guy, very much plays in the moment and I think you saw an outpouring of frustration, with his own game at times, and it is something he needs to manage better. He needs to channel that frustration in a more positive way.”
Asked if Windass, who has scored ten times this season, has been subject to unfair criticism from Rangers fans, Murty was far from sympathetic. “Regardless of unfair or not, he is getting criticised, he has to deal with it. But he has to own what he did and acknowledge what he did and move forward. I am confident that the young man can do that and we will help him in that regard.
“But he has to understand that his energies would be better served putting it into his football and actually celebrating the fact that we scored a wonderful goal.”
Ayr United defender Paddy Boyle knows that the visit of Rangers is huge to the League 1 club and their fans, but reckons the only pressure on the players has been put there by themselves.
He said: “It is a big game for the club and a great opportunity for the fans to come out and back us but for the players it is a shot at nothing. No-one is expecting much from us and the only expectations that we have is the expectations that we put on ourselves to play like we can.
“We have won two games to get here and when you do that you want to secure a big tie and that is what we have. The only pressure now is to ensure that we do not get caught up in the occasion and fail to perform as we can.”
Ian McCall’s side go into the tie on the back of seeing their title hopes dented by a 2-1 defeat by Alloa and Boyle reckons they will still be brooding about that result even if they pull off a shock against the Glasgow giants.
Boyle added: “This game is a bit of a distraction from our title push as we are going into it after a disappointing defeat and a defeat to a bad goal.
“We want a reaction and usually the best way to do that is to start picking up points again.”