Date: 20th February 2018 at 6:30am
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Rangers manager Graeme Murty has joked that Josh Windass didn’t notch a hattrick in the game against Hamilton Academical at the weekend – but there was no way he could criticise his performance in the game.

With Windass being credited with goals in minutes 19, 24 and 72 of the game, Murty told the Official Site as he met with the media on Monday that he believed the keeper had knocked the first goal in himself, so Windass shouldn’t benefit from that, but there was no way he could dispute the ‘massive threat’ that the former Accrington Stanley man was now providing the side.

Windass of course hit the three goals to top off a week that also saw him sign a contract extension at Ibrox and for Murty it wasn’t about Windass repaying the faith that he’d placed in him, it was about Windass performing to the levels he believes he’s capable of and making a fantastic career for himself.

‘He doesn`t have to repay me – he knows what I think of him and he just has to go and play at his level to extend his career and take it to the right level. I`m not sure if I would have given him a hat-trick if I`m being honest – I thought the ‘keeper knocked it in, but, he just needs to know we get him in the team to be a threat in the attacking third.’

Murty added.

‘We don`t necessarily want him running out the middle and be trying to create play from his own third – we want him to be more diligent and understanding of his role and our role, and making sure he is reliable in those two thirds. But when he does that, I think you saw today at this level, he possesses a massive threat.’

Jamie Murphy also came in for praise given his own contribution on the day and he felt fans were starting to see the type of player that we brought in to the club now his fitness is increasing given his lack of game time previously.

‘I think when you look at Jamie, he is starting to get fit. He hasn`t played a lot of football, but we have thrown him in the pitch and got him in the team as we want to get minutes into his legs. We`ve seen his composure in possession and his quality in possession – he adds an attacking threat from the left-hand side that we haven`t necessarily had, but then also, he has added a goal, and then another goal, and then he joins in and links the play up really well.’

Murty did however feel that he still had room for improvement, but he was confident that would come in time.

‘He`s not there yet and there is more to come from him, but I will say that for the team – there is more to come. There is more structure and more ruthlessness and relentlessness to come. But, as I have said, there were good bits and Jamie was one of those.’

Reflecting more on the nature of how the game at the weekend played out, Murty was delighted to have taken second spot back in the table and he was pleased with the win, but the actual performance and our defensive play in particular still irked him.

‘I said to the boys, I would have taken a scruffy 1-0 where it was a bit fraught. I wasn`t expecting this, but we need to come out with the three points. We have had opportunities before and let it pass us by. I said to the guys, Hamilton won`t give us this – and after five minutes it showed. One we didn`t respect what they were doing and get out of our half and clear our lines properly, they can be a threat and score a goal.’

He went on to say.

‘But I was really pleased with the character that we showed to come back and the patience they actually showed to get the goals. And, as I said to the players, three points, second place, move forward, and keep moving forward and keep that momentum growing and building. If we do that, I will be happy. I`m not quite happy yet, but that`s what I asked for at the start.’

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