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Page last updated at 22:43 GMT, Wednesday, 23 November 2005

McLeish says side restored pride

Rangers manager Alex McLeish

Rangers manager Alex McLeish says his side restored their pride after their backs-to-the wall 1-1 draw with Porto in the Champions League.

"We have taken a pounding in recent weeks and we've taken it on the chin," said McLeish after the point kept their hopes of qualification alive.

"We had seven players missing and we were written off as no-hopers.

"But their self-respect is intact after that, it was a great result and it could mean I keep my job for a start."

Rangers lie in second place behind runaway leaders Inter Milan in Group H on six points.

McLeish's side must beat Inter in their final group game on 6 December to ensure their progress to the knockout stages.

A draw could be enough but only if Artmedia Bratislava and Porto draw in their final match.

If Porto win and Rangers draw then the Scots would go through as they beat them in September.

A win for either Porto or Bratislava and a loss for Rangers would end their hopes.

McLeish has been given until early December to improve Rangers' poor run of results, with chairman David Murray already lining up a replacement.

"I am very, very pleased, obviously for the players first and foremost and also for the Rangers fans," said McLeish.

Rangers had one chance in front of goal and scored
Porto coach Co Adriaanse

"I always knew the players were capable of giving us a result like this one.

"There's a bit of relief, but I knew I was not a bad manager.

"We've had a pretty poor time in the SPL and we put up our hands to that as it is not good enough for Rangers.

"But the chairman says we will review things in December and a result like this helps things.

"Any manager has his shelf life, except perhaps Sir Alex Ferguson at Man United.

"Four years at Rangers is a long time. It has been tough and turbulent at times, but it's nights like this that make you become the masochist you are being involved in football."

Ross McCormack was sent on as a late substitute and the 19-year-old equalised for Rangers in his first Champions League appearance.

"We had no hesitation sending on Ross, because of his set-piece prowess," said McLeish.

"But, as you can see from his goal, he can be a poacher as well and he is pushing that little bit harder to get into the team."

Porto coach Co Adriaanse has his own critics in Portugal and defended his tactics against Rangers.

"In the first half, we were playing very well and Rangers were defending with a lot of defenders," he said.

"But we were not so dangerous in the penalty area and I took the decision to take off a central defender and put an extra attacker on at half time and we scored.

"They had one chance in front of goal and equalised.

"We have dominated in all our games in the Champions League, but have been unlucky so far.

"It's still possible to qualify, but we must wait to see what happens in Glasgow and we must hope that Inter Milan send a strong team there."

Clydesdale Bank Premier League Table
30 January 2010 17:38
    P GD PTS
1 Rangers 23 40 54
2 Celtic 22 21 44

3 Hibernian 22 16 42
4 Dundee Utd 23 4 39

5 Motherwell 22 0 30
6 Hearts 23 -5 28
7 Aberdeen 21 -5 27
8 St Johnstone 20 -8 23
9 St Mirren 22 -11 20
10 Hamilton 21 -18 17
11 Kilmarnock 22 -15 16

12 Falkirk 21 -19 14

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