Davis sees Rangers win over St Mirren as 'step in right direction'

The interim manager was happy to go into the international break on a positive note.

Rangers interim manager Steven Davis was encouraged by his side’s 3-0 Premiership win over St Mirren, seeing it as “a step in the right direction”.

Davis was asked to step in and guide the team following Michael Beale’s sacking, in the wake of the 3-1 home defeat to Aberdeen, but suffered disappointment in midweek as Rangers slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Aris Limassol in the Europa League.

Sunday’s league match against in-form St Mirren was looked on as another potential pitfall but after an early penalty for handball that James Tavernier converted, Abdallah Sima doubled the scoreline in the second half before Tavernier smashed in a late third.

The result moves Rangers up to second place in the Premiership table going into the international break, though they do trail leaders Celtic by seven points.

“It is a step in the right direction, going into the international break,” Davis said.

“It was important to come here as a group, and the fans as well, and win.

“There is still a long way to go but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

“We have to take the positives out of today. But we will not get ahead of ourselves. It is only a small step to where we want to go but it is a positive step and I’m sure the players will take some belief from it.”

A section of the Rangers support made their displeasure known with a banner displayed in the first half that read: ‘heartless passionless leaderless; not fit to wear our colours’.

Davis defended the support’s right to express their feelings but said that the squad had also felt the pain of recent setbacks.

“People are entitled to their opinion. Players share the same frustration as the fans.

“Obviously we get the opportunity as staff and players to change things on the pitch.

“This is not where I wanted to be as I wanted two positive results from the two games.

“But I just thanked them for their effort and their desire. It is not easy with a quick turnaround after Thursday night.

“I couldn’t have asked any more from them in terms of what they have given me.”

Rangers are in the process of looking for a new permanent manager, and are expected to make an appointment during the break but Davis said he hadn’t been told any time frame and had appreciated the support he has had for the last two games in charge.

St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson saw his side’s unbeaten start to the league season end, and though he had no complaint about the decision to send Ryan Strain off for the handball, he pointed to that moment as being a turning point in the match.

“I thought we were excellent to start with,” he said. “The red card changes the whole game.

“People have to make decisions in the game. It’s just a reaction from him. It’s a poor decision – we know that – and the referee gets it 100 per cent correct.

“I was miles away and thought at first it had hit a Rangers hand but obviously it didn’t. But it’s definitely a sending-off.

“If you go 1-0 down with 11 men we’re still right in the game. We’re playing really well. But the red card changes it completely.”


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