JIMMY NICHOLL, Rangers’ second interim boss of the season, saw David Bates net a late winner in the 1-0 success over Kilmarnock at Ibrox yesterday.

But the Irishman has warned the player that incoming gaffer Steven Gerrard will be making changes – and it’s up to them to prove themselves.

Nicholl, who took over from the sacked Graeme Murty, said: “Give yourselves a chance in these three games to have the manager looking forward to working with you.

“He’ll do a bit of weeding. He’ll get the weeds sorted out from the flowers.”

Victory over Steve Clarke’s side keeps Rangers in the race for the runners-up spot and they are now one point behind Aberdeen and two ahead of Hibs with two games remaining.

Nicholl added: “I asked for a response and we got it. There’s a way to lose games and the way we lost the last two against Celtic wasn’t great. They restored a wee bit of pride.

“I told them Jonatan Johansson and I have got three games in charge and, after Hibs on Sunday, I’ll be away, probably.

“I’m standing there as a supporter now. I’m not standing there as a man of any authority. So sort it out.

“I want to leave a legacy of European football, at least – and, by doing that, that means they’ve performed and he’s happy with what he’s seen.”

Nicholl admitted that his overriding emotion was relief at securing three points that “keeps you in it” considering he was running out of patience by the time his side made the breakthrough after 85 minutes during which “their keeper never had a save to make”.

David Bates, the central defender who is joining SV Hamburg this summer, scored the winner on his comeback from two months out through injury.

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About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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