Michael Beale reveals delight at Rangers factor and speaks on keeper situation - Malky Mackay rues missed chances
The Ibrox side were far from their best with John Lundstram’s first-half strike the difference against a Staggies side who sit 11th in the Premiership. It was just the third clean sheet since in the last 13th competitive fixtures with Connor Goldson and Ben Davies back in the starting XI together for the first time since the 7-1 drubbing to Liverpool in the Champions League.
“After the last two games, it was a pretty uneventful 1-0 - but they all count for three points," Beale said. “I thought we were pretty comfortable at times tonight without having any cutting edge or real quality in the final third. We had good opportunities where I’d like to have seen us be a little crisper in our final pass and shot. But look, I asked them for a clean sheet and we got it and now we’ll go down the road.
“It’s been a tough week in terms of the two trips but the challenge for the week was to get six points, we did that and there are things for us to work on but we know that. After the last two games being a roller-coaster that was pretty routine.
“I took a slight risk with Connor, he seems to have got through it. That’s Ben’s first 90 minutes for a while so you get a centre-back pairing in and you keep a clean sheet. That’s a good sign.”
One inclusion which caught the attention was Jon McLaughlin's first league appearance since September with Allan McGregor unwell.
“Obviously we lost Allan to illness but Jon came in and I thought he made one excellent save at a big moment,” Beale said. “There’s been a lot spoken about the goalkeeping position but I don’t see it as an issue.
“We’ve got a fantastic young goalie in Robbie McCrorie who we’ve got to at some point give an opportunity to and we’re aware of that.
“It was always in my eyesight to give Allan a rest tonight but when he arrived at work yesterday it was clear he couldn’t play. There was no problem, Jon has got my full trust. When I was here previously under Steven, Jon did fantastically well and kept a number of clean sheets.”
County boss Malky Mackay was content with aspects of his team’s play but ultimately the team were left to rue missed chances.
“I’m frustrated and I’m disappointed for the team,” he said. “Rangers scored a really good goal but we had two fabulous chances in the first half. We wanted to make our mark in the game, we didn’t want to sit in and I thought we got at them and countered well.
"I was proud of the players tonight because tactically we did so well. But you have to be clinical in this league and we were not. The lads are doing everything they can, we are getting into great positions and some of the play was terrific. I would be worried if we were not creating but we are. If we play like that regularly we will be okay."
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