Five things we learned from Hamilton 1-4 Rangers
Rangers survived an early scare at the SuperSeal Stadium, going a goal down within 60 seconds, but recovered to win convincingly despite having a man sent off. Here are five things we learned...
Lee Wallace could find it hard dislodging Declan John
On-loan Cardiff City defender Declan John had an outstanding game for Rangers. He scored the equaliser, gave Rangers the lead and got up and down the left flank with ease all evening.
The 22-year-old said upon joining Rangers that he was hopeful of kick-starting his career at Ibrox after admitting it had ‘stalled’ in recent years. But if John keeps up this sort of form in the left-back berth, Wallace could have a job on his hands dislodging the Welshman - and despite John’s insistence that he would be happy to play further forward to accommodate Wallace in the team, Pedro Caixinha might be inclined to keep his faith in John.
Carlos Pena was lucky not to get sent off
The Mexican midfielder huffed and puffed throughout the 54 minutes he was on the park and was lucky not to get sent off. He could well be cited by the compliance officer for what appeared to be an elbow on Greg Docherty in the first half and a couple of industrial challenges were lucky to go unpunished. But his decision to use his arm to knock the ball into the net while he was already on a yellow card was baffling. Those who recall Jason Cummings being sent off for Hibs against Dundee United at Tannadice for a similar incident may well have been bemused by referee Andrew Dallas’ decision not to give Pena a second yellow and an early bath. That the 27-year-old was hooked moments later spoke volumes.
Accies are on the slide
Hamilton followed up an emphatic opening day victory over Dundee with an unexpected 3-1 win away to Hibs but since coming back from 2-0 down to grab a late draw away to Kilmarnock on August 26, Hamilton are now on a run of four consecutive defeats, and have won just one point from a possible 15. That three of those losses have come at home with the side shipping ten goals in the process will be of great concern to Martin Canning. The opening minutes against Rangers showed glimpses of Accies’ early season form but the collapse - three goals in six minutes - showed why they’ve struggled in recent weeks. With Motherwell due to visit the SuperSeal Stadium next weekend, it doesn’t look like getting any better for Canning and Accies any time soon.
Daniel Candeias seems to have found his feet
Much has been made of Pedro Caixinha’s summer signings, in particular the threat posed by forward Alfredo Morelos, the fitness levels of Carlos Pena and Fabio Cardoso’s cavalier approach to one-on-one situations, but former Nacional winger Candeias has gone about his business rather quietly in the background. The 29-year-old has been improving with each game and his performance tonight, topped off with another goal, suggests that Caixinha - who coached him at Nacional - may be getting the best out of the former Portugal under-23 international.
Kenny Miller’s future at Rangers isn’t any clearer
Demoted to the Under 20s, left out of the matchday squad for the trip to Hamilton but apparently still ‘one of ours’, according to Caixinha. The 37-year-old was conspicuous by his absence tonight but Caixinha sought to play down the situation, saying post-match: “I took the decision not to pick [Kenny] for the match. That’s all. Why should I have any issue with him? He’s just not on the list but he’s one of ours.
“I think it’s totally disrespectful to keep asking about Kenny Miller. The 20 boys who were here tonight were fantastic. We are here to talk about this match. Kenny was not here because I did not pick him, so I’m not going to talk anymore about that situation.” Time will tell if the veteran forward’s time at Ibrox is up but as of tonight, we’re still no further forward.