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Graeme Murty: Rangers 'exhilarating' at times in Ayr rout

The Ibrox side recovered from an early scare to win 6-1 in the Scottish Cup.

Rangers boss Graeme Murty watched his side win 6-1 in the Scottish Cup.
Rangers boss Graeme Murty watched his side win 6-1 in the Scottish Cup. SNS

Rangers boss Graeme Murty lauded his players for producing "exhilarating" periods of play as they cruised to victory over Ayr, but says there is definite room for improvement.

The Ibrox side suffered an early scare at Somerset Park, going behind when Alan Forrest, brother of Celtic winger James, capitalised on a slack touch from goalkeeper Wes Foderingham to trundle the ball over the line.

Rangers responded on the half-hour mark when Alfredo Morelos pounced on a rebound off the crossbar, moments after missing a sitter.

Ayr tired after the break as snow fell, and the visitors took full advantage. Jason Cummings scored before Josh Windass bagged a double either side of Morelos' second strike, with Jamie Murphy adding a sixth late on.

The ruthless attacking display pleased Murty, who picked out Murphy for praise after the winger scored his first goal for the Light Blues.

He said: "I would say parts of it were as well as we've played but I still think we can get better in our basics and fundamentals.

"Some of our play is exhilarating as a coach. You see the tempo we move the ball at, the quality we have in the side.

"I was going to give Jamie Murphy a load of stick because the only thing missing from his game was a goal.

"He was outstanding. He gives us understanding, quality and incredible work rate even though he's not fully fit yet.

"There's more to come from him and the squad."

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1408125-complete-round-up-of-scottish-cup-quarter-finals-draw/ | default

Foderingham's early error left Rangers fearing a shock cup exit in Ayrshire.

Murty was left impressed by the character his side displayed in testing conditions to recover from the setback.

He said: "I thought we showed good patience and character.

"Those are the things, allied to the weather and the crowd, that can make you freeze as a footballer, make you push a little too hard.

"But we kept our discipline and composure well.

"We scored the goals when we needed to score them. We've had games previously when we haven't scored when we've been on top.

"We managed to do that today which allays a few fears for the players."

Ayr boss Ian McCall missed the cup tie after undergoing an operation for a detached retina on Tuesday.

Assistant manager Neil Scally felt the scoreline flattered the visitors.

"I think 6-1 probably flattered Rangers," he said. "I don't think it was a 6-1 game so it was quite sore to take given the fact the majority of goals were scored in the last 20 minutes.

"It was a perfect start for us and - although we rode our luck a couple of times in the first half - I thought we shaped up quite well.

"They were causing us problems down the right-hand side which we seemed to resolve in the last five or 10 minutes and then I thought we started the second half well.

"We were still in the game up until 65/70 minutes and then Rangers got their second goal and after that it obviously wasn't great from our side."

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