Rangers: Stuart McCall hails new Alexei Mikhailichenko

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland
On-loan Newcastle forward Haris Vuckic scored a late double
On-loan Newcastle forward Haris Vuckic scored a late double

Rangers manager Stuart McCall likened Haris Vuckic to former Ibrox favourite Alexei Mikhailichenko after the forward's double against Cowdenbeath.

Slovenia international Vuckic, on loan from Newcastle, scored twice in the 4-1 win at Ibrox.

"I said my second day in training that he's got a lot of quality," McCall told BBC Scotland.

"He reminds me so much of big Alexei Mikhailichenko, who I used to play with."

Ukrainian Mikhailichenko was an attacking midfielder who played for Rangers between 1991 and 1996, while McCall was on the Ibrox club's books from 1991 to 1998.

The former Motherwell boss believes Vuckic's qualities are similar.

"He's very graceful with a good left foot," said McCall.

"I said today we would give him a good half hour because he's been unfortunate to be out the side. Not only is he a good talent, he's a goal threat as well."

The win gave Rangers their first home victory since January 3 and moves them level in the Scottish Championship on 55 points with Hibernian, who lost to Raith Rovers.

As well as Vuckic's two late goals, Nicky Clark and Darren McGregor were on target, while David Templeton produced a lively performance on the left wing.

Alexei Mikhailichenko starred for Rangers between 1991 and 1996
Alexei Mikhailichenko starred for Rangers between 1991 and 1996

Rangers were given a scare, though, when Kudus Oyenuga levelled for the Blue Brazil with 10 minutes to go.

"We made hard work of it, kept shooting ourselves in the foot," said McCall, who registered his first home triumph as Rangers boss.

"Cowdenbeath only had two shots at our goal and managed to score one. We've had something like between 18 and 30 attempts - even 4-1 doesn't probably tell a true reflection of the game.

"I was really pleased with a lot of the forward football; some good link up play. Promising signs and a lot to work on if we cut out a couple of silly little errors.

"The other results have gone quite well, but we can only focus on what we can do. That just builds the momentum now; that's what we needed. A lot of pleasing football and belief. The fans are behind the players and everyone's in it together.

"Three points, four goals and just to keep the momentum going was the main thing."