‘There are no high fives’: Rangers start promotion march well, but long way to go says McCall

'I don't know if we are firm or clear favourites, but we are delighted to be going back with a lead' said Rangers manager Stuart McCall after they took a 2-1 lead in the first leg of their promotion play-off quarter-final against Queen of the South.

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Rangers manager Stuart McCall says there is still a lot of hard work ahead of his side after they claimed a narrow 2-1 victory over Queen of the South in the first leg of their Scottish Premiership play-off quarter-final at Palmerston Park.

Steven Smith gave Rangers a 44th-minute lead with a superbly hit free-kick before Derek Lyle headed in a 64th-minute leveller.

However, Dean Shiels sent a looping header beyond keeper Zander Clark 11 minutes later to give Rangers a slender advantage to take into next Sunday’s return leg at Ibrox.

The win has given the fallen Glasgow giants’ dreams of promotion back to the Scottish Premiership a major boost but, with a potential further five matches still ahead of them, McCall insists no one at the club is getting carried away.

“I don’t know if we are firm or clear favourites, but we are delighted to be going back with a lead; there is no doubt about that,” the Rangers manager said.

“But football can change so quickly so nobody is getting carried away about anything. There are no high fives in the changing room.

“I’m always confident with the forward players and the creativity we’ve got that we will create opportunities and definitely at Ibrox on a bigger park.

“But we know it’s only half-time and all the hard work is still to be done to get into the next round of the play-offs.

“We’ve got a good week now of analysing and looking forward to what we will do next Sunday.

“At Ibrox we always think we can create and hopefully we can keep the back door shut like we’ve done for large spells today.

“We’ve done half a job. Hopefully it’s just a sixth of a job and we’ve still got another five games to go, but we will see what the future brings.”

The winners of the tie will face Hibernian, who pipped Rangers to second spot in the Scottish Championship, in the play-off semi-final.

And Queen of the South manager James Fowler says he saw enough from his side in the first leg to believe they are in with a chance of progressing to the next round.

“I said to the boys at half-time that I thought they had played well in the first half. I thought they came out in the second half and played even better than that,” Fowler said.

“I think if we go to Ibrox and play like that we can go there and get a result. We’ve got quality players and we will maybe make one or two changes depending on the personnel. We know we need to go there and get a win. I think the players can be pleased with their performance today.

“We are right in there. I think if we can get the first goal there it would make it really interesting so we will go and play on the front foot there and take the game to Rangers and hopefully we can get a result.”

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