By Abigail Withey
Former Rangers midfielder Alex Rae has named teenager Ross McCrorie as the team’s best player in their defeat to Celtic.
McCrorie, 19, replaced Bruno Alves in the starting XI after the senior man suffered a calf injury.
“We had to bring a right-back in at left-back in [Lee] Hodson and bring in young McCrorie, who was the stand-out Rangers player for me on the day.” Rae told the Glasgow Evening Times.
“It was always going to be difficult and we need to get these guys back up to speed because the next few games are going to be critical.”
Rae has given some insight to how Pedro Caixinha’s squad will be feeling after their Old Firm defeat which they recently suffered on Saturday afternoon.
The Lights Blues suffered a 2-0 loss to Celtic at the weekend in the first derby of the season after goals from Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths secured a win for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Rae, who played at Ibrox between 2004 and 2006, knows how it feels to suffer an Old Firm defeat and has revealed that spirits in training will be lower than usual.
“Psychologically, the Rangers players need to get back up,” the former midfielder told the Glasgow Evening Times.
“I have been there after an Old Firm defeat and it is not a pretty place. Going into training, it is not as bubbly, so it is a case of trying to galvanise themselves again for this weekend.
“There has been a lot said. It is OK saying things in press conferences but the talking can only be done on the pitch.
“The scrutiny leading up to it and afterwards is always tenfold. That will always be the case and now it is about how this team react this weekend.”
Saturday’s defeat ended their recent unbeaten run and marked the first loss since newly-promoted Hibernian beat the Light Blues 3-2 at home.
Although it will be tough, Caixinha’s side will be looking to shake off their recent derby result and instead focus on securing three points when travel to the SuperSeal stadium on Friday to face Hamilton.
The Gers are currently sat in fifth position in the standings on 11 points, while their Glaswegian rivals, Celtic, sit at the summit of the table on 19 points and continue their unbeaten run in the campaign.
In other Rangers news, Scott Brown has taken a big swipe at Pedro Caixinha after the Old Firm derby.