Black says Rangers fans will forget Rovers flop once title is won

IAN BlacK today launched a staunch defence of Rangers in the wake of their shock 1-1 draw with part-time minnows Albion Rovers.

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Rangers ace Ian Black is joined by BT Sport's Gary McAllister to plug the Brechin game
Rangers ace Ian Black is joined by BT Sport's Gary McAllister to plug the Brechin game

And the Gers midfielder has claimed the game will be forgotten about if the Ibrox club can wrap up the SPFL League One title tomorrow night.

The Light Blues players were booed off the field by their own fans on Sunday after failing to beat Rovers in the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final.

Ally McCoist's men only managed to secure a replay when makeshift striker Bilel Mohsni headed home a highlycontroversial equaliser in the 77th minute.

The overall performance and final result against the Cliftonhill club has, unsurprisingly, drawn a furious response from the Rangers supporters.

Yet Black predicted the critics will be cheering if Rangers can finally secure the third-tier title with a win over Airdrie at Ibrox.

He said: "Do the players feel embarrassed? No. You've got to look at the possession stats and the number of shots they had at our goal.

"I think we restricted them to maybe one or two shots at goal. They got an opportunity and they scored it.

"You've got to give them credit. They came with a game plan to make it hard for us to break them down and it paid off for them.

"But we're happy we are still in it. We've got to go there now and obviously try to get a win.

"Everyone goes through a bad patch. Sunday seemed to be one of those for us. Nothing seemed to be going our way then we got a break.

"We can handle it. We've proved a lot of people wrong and have still got the cup to look forward to and we'll be looking to get the win there."

Black added: "People aren't going to talk about performances in the past when we win the league. They will moan on a Saturday because the game isn't entertaining, but they will forget about it in two days' time.

"They will talk about the next game coming up and they will talk about how Rangers have won the league. We have got an opportunity to go and win it tomorrow night and I can guarantee that after that there will not be a complaint about any performance."

Black has also dismissed criticism of the Rangers ­manager and his tactics both against Rovers at the weekend and this season in general.

Despite Rangers going undefeated in League One and being still involved in the Ramsdens Cup and the William Hill Scottish Cup, there has been some unhappiness about the style of play favoured by McCoist.

But the former Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Hearts player feels there is only so much a coach can do when opposing teams set out to defend against them.

Speaking to promote BT Sports' live coverage of the Rangers game against Brechin on March 23, Black said: "The manager has been given a team and a job, to get us back to the SPFL Premiership.

"We won the league last year with kids. We have brought in experience this year and we haven't been beaten. What else do people want?

"We are still in the Scottish Cup and have a good chance. So what more can you ask for?

"The boys are working hard and we want to win the league for the fans and for ourselves and to get the club back up to where we should be. Everything is going well and we are doing that.

"Credit to the manager and the staff for doing their job and keeping us going. We haven't been beaten so I don't know what else people can ask for."

BLACK added: "Look at the Rovers game. Every time we got the ball in the last third they had every man in the penalty area.

"You tell me a game plan to try and play through 11 bodies and hit the target. It's like putting a wall up in front of the goals and trying to break it down.

"Sometimes you've got to look at the bigger picture, get the ball wide and try to beat them with an aerial threat.

"It didn't pay off for us on Sunday, but their game plan was to shut up shop and restrict us when we tried to play it through them.

"There were times when we lacked the urgency to get the ball through, but we worked hard and I think we deserved to win overall."

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