Steven Gerrard on Rangers' 1-1 draw at Hamilton: "Credit to Brian [Rice] because I'm relieved we're going away from this game with a point. The players have been amazing to this point, deserve all the praise and all the accolades they've had, but today I've got no praise for them."
Sunday 7 February 2021 15:40, UK
Steven Gerrard said Rangers "deserved nothing" as they stumbled to a 1-1 draw at Hamilton, while Alan McGregor questioned his side's desire in the game.
Rangers were denied the chance to move five wins from their first Scottish Premiership title in a decade as Ross Callachan struck in the final seconds of injury time to earn basement side Hamilton, without a win in four games, a deserved point.
Gerrard told Sky Sports after full-time his side, who have dropped only eight points all season and remain unbeaten, the hosts should have taken all three points from the game, which was goalkeeper McGregor's busiest of the season.
"I'm disappointed in the all-round performance," he said. "I should be happy really, taking a point from this game because we didn't deserve anything.
"Credit to Hamilton, they really got in amongst us and stopped us playing our normal game. They really made it difficult for us and had the best chances throughout the game. So credit to Brian and his team because I'm actually relieved we're going away from this game with a point.
"The players have been amazing to this point, deserve all the praise and all the accolades they've had, but today I've got no praise for them. I can't, because it'd be false from me. We weren't good enough today. We nearly won a game ugly, we nearly got a smash and grab, and we need to be better than that. Both sides of our game just weren't there today."
Gerrard made a trio of changes from Rangers' midweek win over St Johnstone and re-introduced all three as his side searched for an opening goal.
That worked to perfect effect with Steven Davis, one of those recalled, teeing up Borna Barisic whose cross was turned into his own net by Brian Easton. But even with his influence, and Ryan Jack and Kemar Roofe also brought on, the Gers failed to see out a victory which would have restored their 23-point lead at the top.
"Maybe I left too much quality and personality on the side," Gerrard admitted. "Because we looked an awful lot better when the subs come on. So, I'll look at myself as well.
"Listen, we've been absolutely fantastic, amazing. I can't find the words to describe how well we've done in terms of the league this season. Today we just weren't at the races."
McGregor had not made more than four saves in a single game all season for Rangers prior to their visit to the Fountain of Youth Stadium, where the veteran goalkeeper was called into action six times before he was finally beaten at the death.
The 39-year-old, who was the Rangers goalkeeper last time they won the top flight in 2011, called into question the desire of his team-mates in struggling so much against a side who started the day four points adrift at the bottom of the division.
He told Sky Sports: "We were rubbish. For most of the game we were very poor, the worst I've seen us. We had a good bit of play for our goal, but apart from that, there's not a lot you can take from it.
"We didn't look like we wanted to win the game. Hamilton looked more of a threat than us, which is really disappointing.
"All credit to them, but we were just so poor today. Me making the most saves all season sums up how bad we were. I'd rather be rubbish and win.
"The manager's obviously not happy. We just need to get on with it and look forward to the next game.
"We should take it one game at a time, and do what you need to do to win that. Control the next game, that's that."
Brian Rice, who celebrated his second year in charge of Hamilton ahead of the game, agreed a point was the least that his side deserved as they bounced back from their midweek defeat to Ross County, which kept them bottom of the table, with a stunning performance against the runaway league leaders.
He said: "It's the least we deserved, no disrespect to Rangers. I'm looking at our own performance today, I asked the lads to be brave, and go and have a go, don't have any regrets.
"I think you've seen a team today playing for each other, who believed they could get something out of the game, and you've seen the goal in the last minute.
"You know you've got to take your chances in these games, and we didn't manage to do that because Allan made some really good saves.
"Then Rangers get their goal and you think it's going to be one of those days, but even if we'd been beaten, I'd have been proud of what they'd put in. I couldn't have asked for any more."