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GOLDSON’S VERDICT ON GERS’ BOTTLE FOR BATTLE

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CONNOR GOLDSON insists Rangers will put the weekend setback against Hearts behind them as they prepare to face Ross County at Ibrox this evening.

The stand-in skipper, taking over the armband from the sidelined James Tarvernier, is positive Steven Gerrard’s side will respond to the challenge of attempting to derail the Celtic juggernaut that has nine in a row on the radar.

The Hoops, who were beaten 2-1 by their old foes just before the tun of the year, are five points ahead although the Govan club have a crucial game in hand.

Central defender Goldson, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “We need to put our game across first and we will not always out-football every team in the league.

“The game-plan of Hearts worked well as they pressed us and made it hard for us to play out.

“When it gets like that, we need to show our intensity off the ball and not give it away as cheaply when we are in possession.

“We were second to a lot of the game and they wanted it more than us, which was the worst thing about it. That is what I said after the game in the changing room.

“On any day, we might not be the best footballing side and things might not go for us and we might not create 100 chances.

“But, at the same time, we can’t let a team want it more than us when we are going for a league title.

“Do we have the bottle? We will see, won’t we? It is down to us and how we perform on the football pitch.

“We had a blip on Sunday and we understand the manager’s frustrations after the game and going and doing the media straight away.

“I don’t think he meant how you portrayed it. I think he meant in the game on Sunday, but, at the same time, we can’t let one bad result define our season.

“The media will say we haven’t got the bottle because we lost one game, but if you look at the whole course of the season so far we have shown on many occasions we have been up for the big tasks.

“Our record away from home has been brilliant. We cannot dwell on it, but must move onto Ross County and take three points.”

Gerrard’s side lost at Kilmarnock in the first game back after last season’s mid-winter break and their quest to win silverware wasn’t helped by dropping points at home to St Johnstone, Hibs and Kilie again.

The Liverpool legend was raging after the weekend loss in the capital and said they carried eight passengers and bemoaned the fact they “blinked first” in the title race with Neil Lennon’s outfit who take on St Johnstone in Perth tonight.

Goldson added: “I wasn’t really surprised by the criticism because I was the same in the dressing room and the boys were the same with each other.“We are not going to go in after performing like that and have a happy changing room and management staff. We understand what happened. We are not silly, we are not boys.

“We have a good group like that. We are all men and we all speak to each other with respect, but we knew it wasn’t good enough.

“Even the younger boys have been here for a while now, so they understand the situation and we know that if we want to win the title we can’t afford to play like that again.”

 

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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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