Kris Commons: Murty decision during Rangers v Celtic clash was big mistake
Former Celtic attacker Kris Commons has said that he can’t understand why Rangers manager Graeme Murty took off Daniel Candeias in the Old Firm clash on Sunday, and said he’s amazed Kenny Miller didn’t play a part.
Celtic thrashed their rivals 4-0 in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup at Hampden Park and heaped huge pressure on Murty.
Rumours are circulating that the Rangers manager is now set for the chop but nothing has been confirmed.
Writing in his column in the Daily Mail, Commons said that the gulf between the two sides was huge and that Rangers would need as much as £100m to bridge it.
Murty’s first change was to bring off Andy Halliday in the 41st minute – something that didn’t make the midfielder happy.
But Candeias was also withdrawn early, in the 53rd minute, and Commons can’t understand why Murty would take off one of their best players.
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Enforcer Bruno Alves came on to replace Candeias.
“Whether or not Halliday was mouthing off at his manager or a supporter, it’s certainly come about through sheer frustration. He’s a massive Rangers fan who plays with his heart on his sleeve and is desperate to win.
“To be taken off in a pretty embarrassing way before half-time has just ignited something inside him.
“Rangers were going nowhere when Halliday was taken off. Graeme Murty had to change something in terms of tactics or personnel.
“But I didn’t get the decision to sub Candeias. He has been playing really well. He’s got numerous assists and has certainly got better as a player since going there.”
Football Insider verdict:
Damage limitation? That’s the only thing we can think of – apart from that we’re as confused as Commons. Rangers were 3-0 down at that point and the game was effectively over. However, Candeias was as likely to provide the route back into the game as much as anyone and would have been sorely disappointed to be yanked off like that early on in the second half. However, with McCrorie sent off, someone had to make way and Candeias was the sacrifice.