13 Mar Rangers captain McCulloch: Whole place has been given a lift
Rangers captain Lee McCulloch believes the appointment of manager Stuart McCall has given the whole club a lift.
McCall was announced as the new boss on Thursday and has immediately began putting his own stamp on the team as they hope to get back on track in the promotion race.
The Light Blues are 22 points behind Championship leaders Hearts and have only one win in their last seven games.
McCulloch has pointed towards energy-sapping nerves playing their part in their recent poor performances but says McCall has given everyone a boost.
“It’s been good, the place has had a bit of a lift since the new manager has come in and put his own stamp on things,” McCulloch said.
“Everybody seems to have a bounce in their walk I think with the manager coming in there’s been a real freshness.
“Training has increased in tempo and the stats are up but we know as players we are only really going to be judged on games. It’s about showing the right attitude tomorrow, being brave and getting on the ball.
“I think it’s a good thing we’re going into the game fresh but it’s going to be difficult. We need the crowd with us to help us get through.
“It’s the manager’s first game hopefully we can put on a show and get the three points.”
He added: “A lot of people have been saying we’re not fit enough as a team and maybe so in some of the games that we have played.
“I think when you are low in confidence a lot of nerves can sap a lot of energy from you. It makes it harder so that can be a factor. I think that something that Stuart has mentioned is that we will be looking to get a little fitter.”
McCall has insisted that promotion is still possible for the Light Blues, who are five points behind second-placed Hibernian with two games in hand.
There are 12 first-team players out of contract at the end of the season and McCulloch says it’s time for those players to step up to try to win a new deal.
“It will be a clean slate, it gives a good opportunity to the ones who haven’t been playing to give him ideas and everybody is really keen to impress,” he continued.
“Everybody is playing for their future and I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.
“When you look at the squad I don’t think you could really say that anyone who is out of contract deserves a new one.
“If you’ve got anything about you, you will go and prove that you are worthy of a contract.”