Football: Advocaat angered by dithery defence
Tuesday 06 April 1999
Advocaat's side now hold only a six-point advantage over Celtic after they lost 3-1 at St Johnstone on Sunday night. All they had to show for dominating most of the match was a second-half header from Craig Moore against a side they hammered seven past on their last visit to Perth.
Poor marking led to Saints' captain, Jim Weir, opening the score in the 13th minute. After Moore, back from his spell at Crystal Palace, had equalised more slack defensive work allowed the substitute Miguel Simao to seize on Nick Dasovic's knock-back to put the home side back in front.
Kieran McAnespie's injury-time third rubbed salt into the Rangers wounds and, although Advocaat still believes his side will take the title in May, his players need to heed a few harsh words.
The Dutchman complained that Saints had created only four chances but had scored three times. "Everyone knew who they were supposed to take at the free-kick which led to their first goal and the second was even worse," he said. "Sometimes I have a feeling that my defenders want to do things in a nice way that looks good. I'm not interested in what looks nice, I want the ball away from the goal. Our defensive work was very poor and that shouldn't happen at this level."
Rangers have lost twice on the trot and Advocaat must now raise his players to take on St Johnstone again, in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Celtic Park on Sunday.
They will need to find a cutting edge. Only Rod Wallace and Jorg Albertz came close to matching their exalted reputations and their wide men, Neil McCann and Andrei Kanchelskis, endured miserable evenings.
Advocaat was also upset by newspaper reports linking Rangers with Hakan Sukur, Galatasaray's pounds 13m-rated Turkish international striker.
"As for Sukur, I don't know where he lives or what he looks like," he said in dismissing the reports. "It is unfair to our fans to keep bringing these players up. You might as well say we are going to sign Ronaldo."
The St Johnstone manager, Sandy Clark, was delighted to have avenged that 7-0 humiliation. "It has kept being brought up but I have tried to tell people the circumstances that night were exceptional."
The entire Saints rearguard could take immense satisfaction from a near- perfect display. Despite Rangers' territorial dominance, there always seemed to be a body in the way to quell the danger. Their goalkeeper Alan Main was at fault in failing to collect the corner from which Moore scored from Tony Vidmar's knock-back, but otherwise he did his international claims no harm under the watchful eye of the Scotland coach, Craig Brown.
The victory kept Saints on course to finish the season in the top three, although they would accept they are not the equals of the two Glasgow clubs. "Rangers have some incredible players that frighten the life out of you," Clark said. "When you spend pounds 34m you get some of the best players in the world. We have really done well to beat them and I just want all my players to enjoy this victory."
Tennis star is set to marry his long-term girlfriend, Kim Sears
Latest in Sport
Berbatov flees Bulgaria following kidnap threat
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund player ratings: Who was the star man at the Emirates? Alexis Sanchez? Santi Cazorla? Or Yaya Sanogo?
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Per Mertesacker delighted with defensive display
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund match report: Yaya Sanogo and Alexis Sanchez on target as Gunners secure impressive victory
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 1 'Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,' say police
- 2 Ridley Scott on Exodus: Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading Renewable Energy compa...
£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Required skills include SQL querying, SSRS, u...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...