Le Guen's year ends with boos

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The Independent Football

Rangers completed a wretched year for Paul le Guen when they drew 1-1 with St Mirren at Ibrox to cast more doubts on his tenure continuing into the new year. Le Guen's players were jeered from the pitch by 50,000 fans as they failed to atone for their midweek defeat at Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Once again, Rangers dropped points to a side from the bottom six of the Scottish Premier League - under the Frenchman, they have now managed just 16 points out of 36 against lower-table opposition.

It required a first-half header from Kris Boyd to cancel out Richard Brittain's spectacular 14th-minute strike for the visitors and enable Rangers to finish the year in third place, a point behind Aberdeen, who lost 3-1 at Dundee United, and a massive 17 behind Celtic.

Le Guen was criticised for allowing Steven Pressley to join Rangers' Old Firm rivals after the Scotland defender was jettisoned by Hearts a fortnight ago. The weakest part of Rangers' side all season has been the centre of defence and Pressley, who played for the club a decade ago, would have been the ideal January signing. Le Guen admitted after the defeat that it will be hard to attract new players in the transfer window. "It is not easy because there aren't so many opportunities," said the Rangers manager. "This was a bad result and we must stick together, it is the only solution. At least we fought together, unlike at Inverness, and the players tried their best."

Aberdeen's hopes of continuing their recent fine run evaporated with defeat at Tannadice. Scott Severin put them ahead in the second half but Collin Samuel restored parity with a header on the hour. A Barry Robson penalty gave Dundee United the lead before Samuel scored his second with a swift breakaway.

Hearts drew 0-0 away to Kilmarnock and their Edinburgh rivals, Hibernian, recovered from the painful derby loss on Boxing Day by defeating bottom side Dunfermline 2-0 at Easter Road. Chris Killen's second-half double - the first a shot and the other a penalty after Souleymane Bamba's handball - took the striker's tally to 14 goals.

However, the day's most eyecatching contribution came from Anthony Stokes, playing possibly his last game for Falkirk. The teenage Irish striker, who is due to return to Arsenal, netted his third hat-trick of the season in the 3-1 home defeat of Inverness. All the goals came within 12 first-half minutes and heightened Falkirk's desire to extend Stokes's loan, but Celtic are poised to move for the player as well.

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