Rangers must dig deep, says new manager Stuart McCall

New Rangers manager Stuart McCall
Rangers have won only one of their last eight matches in all competitions

Rangers need to "dig deep and battle away" if they are to achieve promotion via the play-offs, new manager Stuart McCall told BBC Scotland.

Livingston held out for a 1-1 draw at Ibrox on McCall's debut, leaving Rangers seven points behind second-placed Hibernian in the Championship.

"No one is going to give us a free pass into the play-offs," said McCall.

"We need to earn it. It's going to take a massive improvement from everyone to get to where we want to be."

Rangers have drawn their last four league matches and play at Alloa on Tuesday before visiting Hibs at Easter Road next Sunday.

McCall's tenure started positively, with Haris Vuckic shooting the hosts into a ninth-minute lead but bottom side Livi hit back via Ibra Sekajja on the stroke of half-time.

"We had a good start and couldn't capitalise on it," added the former Motherwell boss.

"I thought we started with a lot of energy, good pace, and we scored a fantastic goal. At that stage, you need a second.

"Then they changed their shape and came into the game more and we were disappointed to lose a goal right on half-time.

"We just couldn't sustain the energy we showed in the first 25-30 minutes. When you're lacking confidence, it sometimes inhibits you and that certainly happened later on in the game. There was a lot of nerves, a lot of edginess.

"But there's no use feeling sorry for ourselves. While the chance is still there we won't be defeatist. We need to lift it and we need to lift it quickly.

"There isn't a magic wand. There are certain areas I think everyone knows we are struggling in but we've got to get on with it.

Rangers drew 1-1 with Livingston on Saturday
Rangers captain Lee McCulloch leads his disappointed team-mates off the Ibrox pitch

"We can't have any long faces or people moping about."

McCall was pleased with teenager Tom Walsh's first start but lost Sebastien Faure and Vuckic to injuries during the game

"If you take the four lads [January loan signings] from Newcastle, who probably won't kick a ball for us, out of the equation, it's not as big a squad as you'd imagine," he explained.

"We will freshen things up for Tuesday.

"That's four draws on the bounce now and that's not acceptable, it never is when you're at a club of this size.

"We need to look forward and we need to start picking up points.

"We need a lift on Tuesday and if we can do that it will take us into the game against Hibs in good heart."

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