Rangers fixture change 'for the good for Scottish football' - Graham Alexander
Motherwell manager Graham Alexander has defended his side’s decision to bring forward their match with Rangers by 24 hours.
Rangers were due to play The Steelmen on Sunday, but after conversations between the SPFL and club officials, all parties agreed to move the game to Saturday.
This has given Rangers an extra day to prepare for their Semi-Final first-leg clash against RB Leipzig on Thursday.
Speaking to the Daily Record following Motherwell’s 3-1 defeat to the Gers, Alexander commented: “I understand the tribal side of it, but for the bigger picture of Scottish football – which is what Alan Burrows and I discussed last week – for us as a club, because we’re part of it, for the co-efficient in the league, it’s a better scenario.
“For five Scottish clubs to be playing in Europe next season is brilliant. It certainly adds to the competition within the SPFL. The prizes are right there. It would be a real feel-good factor.
“You have to win some games and you’re not just making up the numbers but it puts the spotlight on Scottish football and helps attract better players, from Rangers and Celtic to the next tier and next tier. It’s massive.
“That was part of our thinking when we spoke to Alan on Friday morning when this request came through and it was all about the coefficient and being better for Scottish football as a whole.
“Obviously we’re part of that and I believe all of us as clubs have a responsibility to make Scottish football be better, look better, produce better.”
Whilst it’s impossible to tell whether Rangers would have won the game if it was played on the original date, what was important for the Gers was to get the three points and they did that on Saturday despite some drama.
If Scottish football fans thought Motherwell were simply going to roll over for Rangers after bringing the game forward, they were wrong.
A Liam Kelly own goal gave Rangers an early lead, but Alexander’s side fought back after Leon Balogun was sent off for the visitors as Ross Tierney levelled proceedings going into the break.
Despite resting some key players, the ten men of the Glasgow giants clawed themselves back in front through Scott Wright before James Tavernier sealed all three points from the spot.
With the likes of Ryan Jack, John Lundstram and Ryan Kent all not featuring on Saturday, Rangers will be hopeful that an extra day’s recovery will help in their bid to continue to defy the odds in the Europa League.
In other Rangers news, Gers star targets more silverware after personal triumph.