Scottish Football: Hateley earns the nod

St Johnstone. . . .0

Rangers . . . . . .4

Hateley 14, 22, Steven 51, Durie 78.

Attendance: 10,056

GOUGH and Goram? Forget them, and as for McCoist and Durrant, who needs them? Rangers, weakened by injuries to these four plus McPherson, Brown, Robertson and Duncan Ferguson - Ian Ferguson is suspended - had to dig deep into their resources and turn to players who had all but been forgotten.

For instance, Oleg Kuznetsov, who has been wandering the Ibrox corridors like a forlorn and broken man, found he was back in the first team and his appearance at McDiarmid Park was not without poignancy. The Ukrainian last played here in October 1990, just after his pounds 1.5m transfer from Dynamo Kiev, and sustained a serious knee injury from which he never fully recovered. He regained fitness after a long and at times lonely slog, but he could not win back his first-team place and Rangers have been trying to offload him ever since.

Expediency is the name of the game for Rangers these days, however, and the man who captained the former Soviet Union side before his transfer to Glasgow and the former England under-21 captain, Chris Vinnicombe, were both thrown jerseys. They and those around them responded well and exorcised memories of last week's 3-0 defeat by Dundee United, but it is fair to say they had little opposition.

St Johnstone were appalling and Mark Hateley, Trevor Steven and Gordon Durie took full advantage of hesitancy and poor marking. Hateley, as always immense in the air, had headed beyond Saints' keeper twice after only 21 minutes had elapsed and six minutes into the second half Steven bundled the ball into the net. A powerful Durie header 12 minutes from time rounded off a stirring performance nicely.

'In our previous five matches we had been organised and had method,' the St Johnstone manager, Paul Sturrock, said. 'But we destroyed it all in 90 minutes. My players didn't have any self-belief and some of their defensive lapses were unbelievable. I'm deeply disappointed. These players have let the club down.'

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in