Jason Cummings admitted his celebrations of his first goal for Rangers almost backfired after he was left breathless under a dramatic pile-up of dozens of supporters in Dingwall.
The on-loan Nottingham Forest striker came off the bench to score what proved to be the clincher for Rangers in the 2-1 win against Ross County which lifted them back above Aberdeen into second place in the Scottish Premiership.
Cummings raced towards the travelling fans, who had chanted his name throughout the afternoon, and found himself submerged under a cascade of them who spilled on to the edge of the pitch.
“I thought I’d died,” laughed the 22-year-old former Hibernian player. “Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to get up. I was praying for the coppers and stewards to come and get them off me!
“I did a knee slide and the momentum of the wet pitch took me into the fans, so I was kind of stuck. It was good fun for the first ten seconds but then I couldn’t breathe.
“I don’t know how many were on top of me. I just remember seeing a big pair of denim jeans in my face. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. It was fantastic and I’m buzzing. The fans were different class and I was saying to the boys that if I got on I would have to score and go sliding into the fans. I got my chance and I took it.
“I got a great reception when I made my debut against Aberdeen at Ibrox last Wednesday and they were singing my name today every time I went out to warm up in front of them. They’ve been different class with me since I came, so that goal was for them.”
Rangers manager Graeme Murty savoured Cummings’ contribution and has no doubts he has secured the services of a player ideally suited to the demands of playing for the Ibrox club.
“Jason has got that about him. You don’t get the impression this club is too big for him,” said Murty, pictured. “You get the impression he is relishing and loving life at the moment which is good for us. I told him before he went on to go and get me a goal because we had just started to come under a bit of pressure in the game. He had a little bit of a moan at Daniel Candeias for not laying the ball off to him and then he goes and finishes like that.
“You know what you’re going to get from him, and from Alfredo Morelos as well. We have finishers at the club, we have options, and I think you saw bits from us today that were very, very good.”
Rangers chairman Dave King was in Dingwall yesterday and Murty, placed in charge until the end of the season, revealed he will have a private dinner with the South Africa-based businessman tonight as they map out the club’s aspirations.
“He’s going to tell me his vision for the club, how he sees us going forward,” said Murty. “I’m interested to see it. I know where we want to go. I’m interested to see if we have a timescale, interested to see what – if any – business dealings will be done.
“I’m probably even interested in what kit we’re going to be wearing next year. The same things all the fans are interested in. It will be a good opportunity for us, away from the hurly-burly of the game, to actually sit down and really get to know each other.
“I’m a part of it until the end of the season. I’m sure if I do a really, really good job of it, we’ll have another discussion. Until then, I’m really relaxed. I’m thrilled to have the prospect of managing this group of players. If I can be a part of it going forward, I would love to. This club is on the right path to where we want it to be. I want to be a part of that.”
Ross County manager Owen Coyle was encouraged by his team’s second-half display despite another loss which leaves his side six points adrift at the bottom of the table.
“We know when we get all our players fit that we will win games,” said Coyle. “Rangers were better than us in the first half today but we were better than them in the second half and deserved something from the game.
“Momentum changes quickly and when it does, we will be the team in the ascendancy.”