SOMEHOW, Rangers will have to remember there is a game to be played this afternoon, one interim manager Kenny McDowall believes has been made all the more awkward following Cowdenbeath’s 10-0 defeat by Hearts last weekend.
Rangers face Cowdenbeath at Central Park on a high following yesterday’s events at Ibrox. The same cannot be said for their hosts, who are still licking their wounds after last Saturday’s remarkable double-figure defeat to the Championship champions-elect.
McDowall is concerned that whatever his side do this afternoon, they cannot win. Not unless they manage to earn an even better victory than Hearts. “It’s 11-0 we need to win now!” he joked. The interim manager could be taking charge of his final game this afternoon and he knows a victory, any sort of victory, is the only thing that matters as Rangers target a return to second place in the league.
McDowall says he would happily take a 1-0 win – the result when Rangers last played Cowdenbeath, back in December.
McDowall knows he might not have long in his current post, having tendered his resignation earlier this year. It says everything about the man that, despite his own difficulties, he extended some sympathy towards Cowdenbeath manager Jimmy Nicholl following last Saturday’s result.
“I know Jimmy Nicholl well and I know he will be hurting after last week. It’s not nice when that happens,” he said. “I felt for Jimmy.”
However, he knows that Nicholl will want to ensure his players can erase the memory of the thrashing as quickly as possible. There would be no better way of doing this than by gaining a famous win over Rangers.
“I am expecting a tough game, simply because of what happened last week,” McDowall said. “It’s a no-win situation but that’s always the case at Rangers. The venue itself makes it a difficult place to go. If we win 1-0 it wouldn’t bother me at all,” he added. “We only beat them 1-0 at Ibrox earlier in the season so I’m not being kidded because it will be a tough game. It’s not going to be a landslide, not at all.”
McDowall looked ahead at life under the new regime and expressed the hope that a new sense of unity at the club can help encourage the players on the pitch. He admitted it was difficult for his team to perform against the background of fans’ dissatisfaction at the way the club was being run.
Crowds at Ibrox decreased as supporters became ever more disillusioned. McDowall is relishing the prospect of a near full-house at Ibrox against Queen of the South on Tuesday.
“Our supporters have been fantastic, and they have been through a lot these past four years so I can’t thank them enough,” he said. “They’ve stood by this club. We always have a great away support so I know they will back us on Saturday.
“But it would be great to see Ibrox full again come Tuesday [against Queen of the South]. That will give the players a massive lift. We haven’t done well enough on the park and that’s where our problems have come. We’re at the business end of the season and there’s still time. It’s important we keep the performances levels higher than they have been.”
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