Rangers-Hearts reaction: Masks and mental coaches, some hope for Jambos, paper aeroplanes

Rangers closed the gap on Premiership leaders Celtic to five points after a 2-1 win over Hearts.

We pick out some extra talking points from the match at Ibrox …

Danilo and the mask

It was somewhat fitting that so close to Hallowe’en, a man wearing a mask scored the winner. Danilo, who is recovering from a fractured cheekbone, came on at half time and netted three minutes into stoppage time with a firm downward header. The Brazilian striker revealed afterwards that he is using a mental coach to help him recover from his injury. “I have a mental coach who helps me every Tuesday,” said Danilo. “When I had my surgery, I knew my moment would come. I was keeping in touch with the doc every day. He encouraged me to make duels. He knew this moment would happen and then it would be about my reaction. The mental coach has helped me a lot, it’s changed my mentality since I had the surgery on my face. He just keep me feeling brave and believing in myself. I’m glad that I’m scored again with my head because he was saying to keep remembering that the last time I scored it was with my head. I also had a mental coach before in Holland who helped me with a lot of situations. It’s great to have one. It helps to clear your head. If you have some problems then there is someone to share, even though you have a wife. I’m really happy to have someone to help me after my surgery.”

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Rangers fans put on a display for Remembrance Day before the match against Hearts.Rangers fans put on a display for Remembrance Day before the match against Hearts.
Rangers fans put on a display for Remembrance Day before the match against Hearts.

Hope for Hearts?

In terms of Hearts’ afternoon at Ibrox, the old phrase of the operation was a success but the patient died springs to mind. Deployed in a 3-5-2 formation, they got an early goal through Lawrence Shankland and then stayed very compact and stuffy for most of the match. Peter Haring’s shirt pull on Connor Goldson to concede a penalty was ill-judged and undid a lot of the good work earlier in the match. The performance of Shankland in attack, leading the line diligently, and midfielder Beni Baningime impressing in the first half should give Naismith reason for optimism ahead of Livingston’s visit to Tynecastle on Wednesday and then another match against Rangers in Glasgow, this time the Viaplay Cup semi-final. It is likely they will stick with the 3-5-2 at Hampden and while there will be pain from losing so late on in Govan, they should take heart from the way they frustrated Rangers.

Display turns into paper aeroplanes

Rangers always make sure they put on a fitting display for Remembrance Day, and with this match being their only home game around the November 11 date, they used it to mark the fallen among the armed forces. There was an impressive display in the Sandy Jardine Stand, with supporters holding up cards to spell out “Lest We Forget” with poppies on either side. Of course, after the minute’s silence, what does one do with the bit of paper? Well, if you were sitting close to the Hearts fans, many chose to scrunch them up and throw them into the away end. Some supporters were a bit more creative and turned the cards into paper aeroplanes, piloting them towards but often missing the visiting support.

Rangers' Danilo celebrates scoring his winner against Hearts.Rangers' Danilo celebrates scoring his winner against Hearts.
Rangers' Danilo celebrates scoring his winner against Hearts.