ALLY McCOIST praised goalie Cammy Bell for the wonder saves that helped Rangers secure a hard-fought victory over Stranraer.
Bell produced two outstanding blocks in the first half of the SPFL League One match at Stair Park to keep his side narrowly in front. The Ibrox club held on to record a 2-0 win that maintained their 21-point lead over Dunfermline at the top of the third tier table.
The Gers, who remain undefeated in the league in the 2013/14 campaign, can still complete stage two of "The Journey" and sew up the title next month. But McCoist admitted the Light Blues had only managed to win and keep another clean sheet away from home thanks to the brilliance of their keeper.
He said: "I thought we were very professional without being anything other than that. I thought we were solid enough and our goalkeeper had a couple of good saves. "It was a professional enough performance. The goalkeeper, as I say, made a couple of good saves. At the same time, Jon Daly had a couple of headers he would normally have tucked away.
"I thought Cammy's save to the right-hand side was an excellent save. I was disappointed with the defending that led to it. The main reason we kept a clean sheet was because of Cammy.
"It is a difficult place to go to but we got another clean sheet and another three points."
McCoist added: "We started the game really well and got a good goal. I wasn't happy with the reaction after that. We sat back a little bit. A big problem was that we didn't get support to Jon from any of the areas in midfield. That was a little bit disappointing.
"I was disappointed in us in terms of getting forward. Jon was a little bit isolated. Andy Little did better in terms of getting forward and helping him.
"At the same time, I don't think the playing surface helped us and that is coming from a manager whose team has a playing surface that isn't particularly great.
"I am not having a go. The pitches have all taken a pounding with the amount of rain we have had. But the pitch wasn't conducive to either team playing passing football."
Arnold Peralta, who was brought back into the starting line-up, angered Stranraer fans with several of his challenges in an occasionally bad-tempered match. And McCoist admitted he had replaced the Honduran international with Robbie Crawford late in the game after he had been yellow-carded in order on to prevent him from getting sent off.
The manager said: "Once he got the yellow cards, we took Arnold off to keep 11 men on the park. It was as simple as that."