Michael Beale claims Rangers were trying to score “the perfect goal” before they emerged with a narrow 2-1 cinch Premiership win over Ross County at Ibrox.
The Light Blues missed several chances before early substitute Malik Tillman put them ahead with a header in first-half added time – but the visitors levelled in the 65th minute with a Jordan White header.
Left-back Borna Barisic’s deflected free-kick in the 75th minute ultimately gave the home side all three points but Beale, who is unbeaten in 12 games – 11 wins and a draw – since taking over as Gers boss in November, believes the scoreline should have been inflated.
“We’re still searching for a performance here at Ibrox where we take our chances,” said Beale, who revealed midfielder John Lundstram – who made way for Tillman after just 11 minutes – will have a scan on his ankle.
“Some of our football again in the first half was very good but again we were fussy in the final third.
“If you think about how ruthless we were on Wednesday (in a 3-0 win at Hearts), and how clinical we were at times, we had people taking two, three, four touches in and around the box when we should be getting our shots off.
“Our players were just taking too many touches. It was unrealistic to have two or three touches in and around the box.
“At times in the first half in the box people were cutting and chopping the ball and faking rather than having a shot.
“If you look at our three forwards – Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos and Fashion Sakala – they were a bit stuffy today in and around the box.
“There was some good defending by Ross County but I thought we were trying to score a perfect goal.
“Even in the second half we had big moments when our final pass let us down. We’ve had 20-plus shots and 70 per cent possession, so we should be scoring more goals.
“I have to say I thought Ross County were very good today. Their energy was good and fair play to them, two teams played the game.”
Jon McLaughlin came in for number one keeper Allan McGregor and looked far from convincing at County’s goal but Beale remains supportive.
He said: “This week we’ve had two games and a late night midweek.
“I felt Jon was the fresher goalie coming into today. He didn’t have much to do in the game and I’ll continue to rotate them.
“Jon’s always there. We all know Allan isn’t getting any younger but he’s our number one right now.
“If I feel he needs a rest, Jon is always able. Have we lost any games with him? He’s not the issue.
“We conceded a lousy goal off a set-play but we all need a shake for that.”
Ross County started and finished the day in 10th place, a point above Motherwell and bottom side Dundee United.
Boss Malky Mackay left Ibrox with plenty of optimism for the rest of the season.
He said: “The winner is one of those things. It was going in to Ross Laidlaw’s hands. There wasn’t a lot of power or bend on the shot.
“I ask the players to be strong and big in the wall but you get these things.
“It was disappointing at the time but it didn’t stop them or put the heads down and we pressed them at the end to get the equaliser which on another day we could have got.
“What it does do is give me evidence to show the players going into the next number of games in that bottom area, we can compete with everybody and anyone.”