Ally McCoist refused to blame injuries to key players as holders Rangers almost crashed out of the Scottish Cup in the fourth round at Hamilton.
Only a dubious penalty, converted by Kenny Miller, allowed the Glasgow giants to scrape a replay against Accies, with both teams vying to face St Mirren in the next round.
Rangers were left counting the cost of injuries to Steven Davis and top goalscorer Kris Boyd in the first half of the 3-3 draw at New Douglas Park. McCoist hopes neither faces a lengthy lay-off, but admits the club's mounting casualty and suspension worries give cause for concern and said Rangers have no choice but to cope.
"Injuries are part and parcel of football," said the assistant boss. "We could do without them, but hopefully they are not long-term. Steven Davis has a dead leg and, with his style of play, mobility is important for him and we had to get him off. Kris has been feeling his groin for a couple of weeks and I don't think the cold weather helped him. Hopefully, we got him off in time. It's been a little niggle and the conditions probably played a part."
Rangers appeared to be cruising as goals from Steven Whittaker and Miller provided what should have been a comfortable lead.
But Simon Mensing pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, before Marco Paixao and Mickael Antoine-Curier both netted in first-half stoppage time to hand Accies a shock lead.
Rangers did hit back through Miller again after the break but were forced to settle for level terms and a replay at Ibrox.
McCoist added: "It was everything you would expect from a Scottish Cup tie; there was enough crammed into that game for a few cup ties. The first 45 [minutes] were a bit bizarre because we were 2-0 up without really playing well, I couldn't see where it came from. But I also didn't see Hamilton scoring three goals in 10 minutes. It was a strange feeling to go from being delighted to a little down and we had work to do at half-time. The goals we lost were poor but you ask the team a question at half-time and I thought we were a lot better in the second half. Both teams probably deserve another crack at the cup tie against St Mirren."Reuse content