Rangers boss praise for Maurice Edu work ethic

Rangers manager Ally McCoist celebrates the second goal against Kilmarnock
McCoist celebrates the second goal against Kilmarnock at Ibrox

Rangers manager Ally McCoist was full of praise for Maurice Edu after the midfielder's eye-catching display in the 2-0 win over Kilmarnock.

The American has been a target for flak from fans but helped Rangers open up a seven-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

"I'm delighted for him," McCoist told BBC Radio Scotland after Edu was given a warm ovation from the Ibrox crowd.

"He's a great lad and he gives 100% every time he pulls on that jersey."

Edu picked up the sponsor's man-of-the-match award for a performance full of bite and athleticism on a night when a number of his colleagues were guilty of a sluggish start.

Rangers eventually broke down a resolute Kilmarnock defence on 64 minutes, with Nikica Jelavic turning in a Steven Davis free kick, while Gregg Wylde added a second goal, set up by Edu, soon after.

"There's a lot of players who haven't been able to perform at this club for one or two reasons but Maurice Edu always turns up and gives of his best," McCoist added.

"He never hides or shirks an issue.

Gregg Wylde celebrates scoring Rangers' second goal
Edu set up Wylde for the second of Rangers' goals

"He'll play bad games and he'll play good games. Tonight was one of his good games and his team-mates are delighted for him."

McCoist was critical of his side's slow opening but explained that his tactics were at least partially to blame.

"If you look at the overall game, I think we deserved the victory," he explained. "We scored two goals and forced their goalkeeper to make a couple of good saves.

"But for 25 minutes we didn't play particularly well.

"I would shoulder responsibility for that because, initially we wanted to sit back give them the ball and then go and get it. But that didn't really work and we should have changed it a bit quicker.

"I thought fans played their part. They were patient when they could easily have turned. They stayed with us and as long as they do that, we feel we've always got a chance because we have players that go forward, create chances and hopefully take them."

If Rangers beat Hibernian at Ibrox on Saturday, they will move 10 points clear of nearest rivals Celtic, who visit Tynecastle on Sunday.

"It's a lovely incentive for us," said McCoist looking ahead to the weekend. "But we'll have to go and earn it.

"Hibs will make it difficult for us but it's a home game and we will take the game to the opposition."

Kirk Broadfoot and Kilmarnock captain Manuel Pascali were booked for their part in a post-match scuffle as the players left the field but McCoist was quick to play the incident down.

"I've seen a bit of action in this tunnel over the years and that wouldn't rate in the top 10," he joked.

McCoist also revealed that skipper David Weir will play in closed doors game on Wednesday, along with Jamie Ness and Matt Mackay as the trio return from injury.