No winners in Rangers blame game as Tannadice post-mortem starts

FINGERS may be pointed and voices raised, but the blame game rarely offers up answers.

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Ian Black, pictured, and Kal Naismith both saw red for Rangers at the weekend
Ian Black, pictured, and Kal Naismith both saw red for Rangers at the weekend

It has begun again in the wake of Rangers' William Hill Scottish Cup capitulation on Saturday, but no party will emerge blame-free from the debacle against Dundee United.

It is Ally McCoist who will ultimately carry the can, rightly some say, for his side's abject performance that saw them crash to a 3-0 defeat.

Yet the role of those he entrusted with a blue jersey must come under the spotlight, too. This was not a band of budding kids thrown into the heat of battle at Tannadice.

Instead, it was a collection of internationalists, marquee signings and SPL stars that failed to live up to their hype.

Rangers' big names were left embarrassed, letting themselves, and their manager, down on their chance to prove they had what it takes to cut it at the top.

"It will be the manner of the performance and how they lost the game that will hurt Coisty the most," former Rangers midfielder Derek McInnes told SportTimes.

"Rangers needed to defend well to give themselves any chance and they didn't do that. They needed some big performances from their big players.

"On paper, Rangers were decent middle to front but they never showed their quality.

"They have guys that have come down from the SPL last summer like Ian Black, Dean Shiels, David Templeton and Fran Sandaza.

"You also had the likes of Ross Perry, Kyle Hutton and Andy Little who have played in the SPL as well.

"There are some good players and I thought if Rangers were going to have a chance of getting a result they would have to defend well and hope they hit their levels.

"A lot of the bigger players, the players that they needed to perform, never got to their levels and that in turn made it very difficult."

As the majority of Light Blue legions voted with their feet and boycotted the tie, several of McCoist's players also failed to turn up on the day.

Midfielder Black saw red late on after a poor display, Shiels was virtually anonymous and Brazilian Emilson Cribari had another defensive horror show.

They were not the only ones who didn't impress, but the time has come for those players to live up to their billing and show the class their CVs suggest.

McCoist didn't hold back in his criticism of his flops after the cup exit and McInnes knows his friend will feel the fans' pain.

He said: "It was disappointing from a Rangers point of view but, lets not kid ourselves, it was always going to be a massive task for them.

"I know Coisty would have been desperate to reward the fans and get through to the next round of the cup and that will be the biggest disappointment of all for him.

"Rangers just have to go and finish off the season in the league and when they are in the Scottish Cup and League Cup next year they will look to make a better fist of it."

Having crashed out of all three domestic cups, the Third Division title looks like being the only silverware in the Ibrox trophy cabinet this term.

The Gers return to league duty against Queen's Park on Saturday battered, bruised and with a point to prove.

McInnes said: "The players will want to show a good reaction.

"They will want to make amends and go and win games with a bit of style. Claiming the Third Division was the main objective at the start of the season.

"The Scottish Cup and the League Cup were always going to be a challenge but hopefully they can go and finish the league campaign strongly.

"Then they can wait and see what will happens in terms of league reconstruction."

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