Philippe Clement claims his Rangers side demonstrated their growing team ethic in coming from behind to beat Dundee 3-1 at Ibrox after playing the second half with 10 men.
Striker Amadou Bakayoko scored after just five minutes but the Light Blues responded with a strike from forward Cyriel Dessers, a penalty from skipper James Tavernier after a VAR intervention, and a header from attacker Abdallah Sima.
Gers midfielder Jose Cifuentes was sent off after another VAR prompt saw a yellow card for a foul on Bakayoko upgraded to red, a decision which will cost him his place in the Viaplay Cup final against Aberdeen next week.
The Belgian was pleased with the way his side dealt with the second half and said: “The team showed that they are a team.
“I see this dressing room growing week by week in that way. That is crucial. I know you need a really strong dressing room where everybody fights for one another, where everybody is available for the team.
“Everyone sees in the last few weeks this team sticking together in every sense. Players coming in, playing out of position and doing a job for the team.
“We played to create in the second half, not just sitting it out. If you look back, we had the best chances in the second half.
“You can also see the physical levels of the players growing. We need to get more players fit and we need to continue to work but if the mentality stays like this then we will take more points.”
On the red card incident, Clement said: “I’ve not seen the images back. Jose told me he lost the ball and wanted to win it back.
“He wanted to block the ball but the other guy is a split second faster and tackles through the ball, there’s contact.
“Jose tries to avoid it, he didn’t go through it, so I want to see things back to have a clear and good opinion so we can make an assessment in the next few days (on a possible appeal).”
Tony Docherty was far from impressed at the way the VAR check worked against his team for the penalty.
The Dundee boss said: “I’m hugely disappointed with the decision to give the penalty kick and VAR’s involvement in it.
“The image presented to Kevin Clancy favours the penalty being given but the reality is there is bustling in the box, Sima has hold of Aaron Donnelly’s shirt and Kevin Clancy deemed that to be OK.
“He then gets shown an image in a real pivotal moment of the game at 1-1.
“You need things to go for you and that one went against us.
“I’m really disappointed because we started the game really well, everything I was looking for.
“Lyall Cameron almost scores and then we score from the corner so a good start.
“Rangers come back into it with an unforced error by us then such a big decision goes against us.
“I had a conversation with Kevin Clancy and I thought he had a really good game.
“It’s difficult because we are re-refereeing games. Kevin Clancy’s positioning is good and it’s not a clear and obvious error.
“My problem with it is the image he gets shown. If I see that image I’d give a penalty kick but you need to take it into context.”