Rangers manager Stuart McCall 'not getting carried away'

Rangers celebrate against Hearts
Kenny Miller (left) opened the scoring for Rangers against Hearts

Rangers manager Stuart McCall says there will be no complacency now that his side have moved clear in second place in the Scottish Championship.

A 2-1 win over champions Hearts has put them in poll position to the race for the play-off spots against Hibernian, Queen of the South and Falkirk.

"There is a long, long way to go yet, but it's pleasing," said McCall.

"We're not getting carried away. We've got a really tough game on Thursday at Queen of the South."

The team finishing second top will have only one two-leg tie to overcome in order to qualify for the play-off final against the side finishing second bottom of the Premiership.

Rangers had drawn five in a row until defeating Hibs, who were then second top of the table, in McCall's third game in charge after replacing Kenny McDowall.

"We went to Easter Road and since then they've lost three and we've won three," said the Rangers manager, whose side also have a game in hand over third-top Hibs. "But football can change so quickly."

"Obviously we didn't start great with the two home draws, but I think the victory at Easter Road was huge.

"We all know there are good players in that dressing-room, but when confidence is low it's difficult.

"But now we are beginning to get the chest out and the chins up and show what it means to play for the jersey."

Lee McCulloch leaves Ibrox after being sent off
Lee McCulloch has apologised for being sent off against Hearts

Rangers had raced into a 2-0 lead through goals from Kenny Miller and Haris Vuckic, but referee Bobby Madden sent off captain Lee McCulloch before the half-time break for elbowing Osman Sow and that gave Hearts hope.

"I spoke to Bobby coming off and he says it was a clear elbow in the back of the head," McCall told BBC Scotland.

"He's apologised to everyone in the dressing room."

The dismissal forced McCall to alter his formation, with midfielder Nicky Law moved back to defence.

"He nearly swallowed his tea at half-time when I told him he was going to right-back," the manager joked.

McCall preferred to concentrate on praising his players for one of their best performances of the season.

"I was delighted at the way we approached the game," he said.

"You've seen Hearts a lot this season - when teams sit off them, they are good players.

"But we not only had a lot of energy but good quality and I thought the two goals were terrific.

"I think the first-half performance was terrific. The second was all about guts and determination and a big thanks to the supporters who got behind the team and kept them going.

"They have waited a long time for a performance like that and the players deserved their applause."