'No panic' at Rangers after defeat to Hearts - Gary McAllister

Liam Boyce's debut goal condemned Rangers to defeat at Tynecastle
Liam Boyce's debut goal condemned Rangers to defeat at Tynecastle
Scottish Premiership: Rangers v Ross County
Venue: Ibrox Stadium Date: Wednesday, 29 January Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio Scotland & follow live text on the BBC Sport website & app

Rangers need to "still trust what we have been doing," says assistant manager Gary McAllister, as they seek to avoid further damage to their Scottish Premiership title hopes.

The team's performances have dipped since the winter break and Sunday's 2-1 loss at Hearts leaves them five points behind Celtic with a game in hand.

Rangers host Ross County on Wednesday without injured midfielder Ryan Jack, who is sidelined for up to a fortnight.

"There is no panic," McAllister said.

"We've been on a good run. I don't think anybody saw it coming. We knew it wasn't good enough and we have to take the criticism that comes.

"Having worked with the majority of these guys for a while, I know the types of men in the dressing room. I think we will see a reaction.

"In moments like this we still have to trust what we have been doing. We can't just think because we have one bad result it's a big change.

"The way the lads have been playing and our tactics have served us well. We tweak but we have to remain confident."

Rangers' slump on returning from the winter shutdown last season effectively ended their title chances as they dropped points in half of their first 10 league games in 2019.

Having opened 2020 with lacklustre wins over Stranraer - in the Scottish Cup - and St Mirren, McAllister acknowledges the Tynecastle defeat leaves his side with "very little wriggle room" in the title race.

"We need to be pretty perfect, we're well aware of that," he said. "We have a rough idea of the points tally that is required to be successful.

"The winter break went well, but we haven't performed since we came back. That is plain to see."

Top scorer Alfredo Morelos returns from suspension for his first appearance of the year on Wednesday night.

But Jack will be absent after going off at half-time against Hearts and is also likely to miss the visits of Aberdeen and Hibernian plus the Scottish Cup tie at Hamilton.

Captain James Tavernier is still two weeks away from playing despite returning to training after appendix surgery.

"I'm sure Alfredo will come back firing, any team would miss a player like him," McAllister said.

"Ryan has had a little recurrence of an injury in his calf. We are hoping it's not as bad as first thought, we are talking 10 days to two weeks."

Rangers have confirmed winger Jake Hastie has returned early from his season-long loan spell at Rotherham United. The 20-year-old made 16 appearances for the English League One side, scoring three times.

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