There were some good performances from a number of players on Saturday, but three in particular stood out for me. Despite all three being the goalscorers, it was their all-round play that impressed most.
Firstly, Josh Windass deserves a lot of credit for his performance. Playing on the left, he was prominent in most attacks in the first half. He rarely stayed wide, venturing inside and even on the other wing to get involved. His goal was well taken, a simple finish that many would have felt he’d miss a couple of weeks ago. With his direct play, range of passing and pace, there’s no doubt Windass has talent. His mentality has been questioned, but that’s two goals in the games after a change of manager when he could have easily went into his shell. He gets a lot of criticism and scrutiny, but never goes hiding in a game. We may have to remember more often that he’s still learning how to be a consistent performer at this level.
Ross McCrorie was awarded man of the match by the sponsors on the day. It was a more than fair decision given his performance. He showed great movement to score his goal when most others had switched off. Before that, he’d won a few defensive duels through his pace and aggression. It will take a very fast striker to get away from McCrorie in a one-v-one situation. He was talked through the quieter parts of the game by Wilson, and positioned himself well when longer balls came in to win the second ball. It’s never easy for a young centre half to come into a side in any situation. Those in the game who believe McCrorie will go far have plenty of evidence to back that up so far.
My man of the match, though, was Daniel Candeias, and not for the first time this season. We all know his attitude and workrate is excellent. On Saturday, he added moments of quality to that, especially in the second half. One flick in particular left three Thistle players trailing as he ran to get yet another cross in.
Candeias has proven to be an effective player, finishing this game with yet another assist and a goal. His crossing was good all game, deserving more than just one assist. The cross for McCrorie from the short corner was perfect. His goal required good technique to keep the ball down. He’s a player who has had a good start to his Rangers career, and this may have been one of his best games so far. The next manager may look to add his own identity to the squad, but I’d be very surprised if Candeias isn’t considered an important part of that.
Who did you think deserved Man of the Match? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!