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Rangers boss Dick Advocaat
"They only like it when you win"
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Wednesday, 1 November, 2000, 16:42 GMT
Rangers end losing streak
Captain Barry Ferguson celebrates his goal
Captain Barry Ferguson celebrates his goal
Rangers 2-0 Dundee United

Rangers finally put an end to their losing run with a comfortable win over struggling Dundee United.

First-half goals by Kenny Miller and team captain Barry Ferguson put the game beyond United and put Rangers into the CIS Insurance Cup semi-finals.

A crowd of only 30,966 saw the Ibrox side record a straight-forward win which may yet prove to be the turning point for Rangers.

Hapless Dundee United, on the other hand, are left to concentrate on picking up their first league win.

New captain

Reports that Rangers' Italian defender Lorenzo Amoruso had been stripped of the captaincy were confirmed as Barry Ferguson led the team out for the start of the match.

Amoruso had been the subject of boos from the Rangers support during the 3-0 defeat by Kilmarnock on Saturday and his form had dipped badly in the absence of defensive partner Craig Moore.

Moore's replacement, Dutchman Bert Konterman found himself on the bench for the visit of United, with Scott Wilson partnering Amoruso.

Manager Dick Advocaat explained his decision to strip Amoruso of the captaincy, stressing that he had not bowed to player pressure.

"Despite what you read this morning it was not totally true. Nobody can force me to change things," said the Dutchman.

I'm pleased with the players and now we can start thinking about better times
Dick Advocaat, Rangers manager
"Everyone was jumping on Amoruso, rightly or wrongly, and I thought it was better for the team to make another captain. I was not forced by the players."

Advocaat also declared himself a good deal happier with his players' performances after the match.

"I'm pleased with the players and now we can start thinking about better times," he added.

"I'm very pleased with the way the team worked, especially in the second half. We saw in the dressing room they wanted to go out and get a result. Their commitment was excellent."

Kenny Miller marked his first Ibrox start with a goal in the 12th minute.

Tugay was the creator, sending the young striker clear of a static back line and he had no trouble slotting the ball past Alan Combe for the opening strike.

Kenny Miller got Rangers' first
Kenny Miller got Rangers' first
It was the perfect start for the under-pressure champions.

United new-boy Jim Lauchlan panicked into conceding a corner that goalkeeper Alan Combe could only punch a few feet away and Sergio Porrini eventually hooked the ball wide.

There was little atmosphere and United were keen to maintain plenty of numbers at the back.

They did threaten on one occasion however when Steven Thompson flashed a header wide, albeit from an offside position.

Neil McCann sent in an inviting cross from the left but Fernando Ricksen did not connect properly with his first-time effort.

Displaced skipper Lorenzo Amoruso was close to enhancing his tarnished reputation with a rare goal but Combe was there seconds beforehand to push the ball over the bar.

Stunning goal

Barry Ferguson marked his elevation to the captaincy with a stunning goal on the half-hour mark.

Tugay lofted the ball over the United back line and Ferguson timed his run to perfection, striking it first time past Combe.

Tugay fancied a goal of his own and was only just too high with a curling shot that skimmed off the top of the net with Combe beaten.

Amoruso produced a defence-splitting pass to send McCann away down the left but Lauchlan spotted his too-obvious attempt to set up Billy Dodds.

Amoruso supplied McCann again and this time the cross was acceptable for Dodds, who saw his header rebound back into play off the crossbar.

United made a reshuffle by taking off David Partridge and bringing on Mvondo Atangana.

Billy Dodds and Jim Lauchlan contest a high ball
Billy Dodds and Jim Lauchlan contest a high ball
Combe kept the score down with a good block from Miller after the striker had given the United defence the slip again.

In the second half, Dodds hit a post, but the flag was up to end a move that had begun with McCann trying to find Miller at the far post only for Lauchlan to get himself in the way.

Thompson was hurt in a challenge by Dodds, but recovered to fire a shot that hit Scott Wilson.

Dodds put Miller through but, with Combe trying to fill as much as the target as possible, he blazed his shot over.

Wilson's error let in Atangana but his effort after manoeuvring into a shooting position was too high.

United made a second change with just over 20 minutes to play, swapping Tasso Venetis for Stephane Leoni.

Tugay was named man-of-the-match
Tugay was named man-of-the-match
Ferguson's clever free-kick found Miller in the box but Craig Easton made a robbing tackle and McCann wasted Rangers' next opportunity with a cross to no-one in particular.

Thompson managed to sneak in a shot on the turn but Jesper Christiansen gathered.

Miller came off to warm applause with 13 minutes to go, replaced by Peter Lovenkrands.

The lively Thompson flashed a header over before Tugay tested Combe with a long-ranger.

Tugay sent Lovenkrands off on a one-on-one with Combe and although the goalkeeper got there first he spilled the ball and needed a defender to hack clear.

'Pre-season game'

In the end, even Rangers were too strong for United and the smaller-than-usual crowd went home a little happier than in recent weeks.

Dundee United boss Alex Smith was furious with his players' lack of commitment.

"The disappointing thing for me is that we were in the quarter-final and we were out of the cup within 20 minutes. I didn't like that at all," Smith raged.

"You don't lose goals early, especially at Ibrox, and we did. I'm angry we didn't make it a cup tie in the quarter-final of a major cup competition.

"We played like it was a pre-season game. There was far more pressure on Rangers to get a result."

Rangers: Christensen, Porrini, Wilson, Amoruso, Numan, Ricksen, Tugay, Ferguson, McCann, Miller, Dodds.

Subs: Konterman, Lovenkrands, Brown, J. Gibson, Ross.

Dundee United: Combe, McQuillan, Lauchlan, De Vos, Partridge, Aljofree, Licina, Venetis, Buchan, Easton, Thompson.

Subs: Leoni, Davidson, McConalogue, Atangana, Onstad.

Referee: Mike McCurry

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See also:

28 Oct 00 |  Scot Prem
Hibs leave it late at Tannadice
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Rangers blow away sad United
01 Nov 00 |  Scotland
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01 Nov 00 |  Scotland
St Mirren through to semis
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