FOR a few fleeting moments, Graeme Murty worried that Rangers might be in a spot of bother.
This concerning time was, of course, all-but forgotten about as the fourth, fifth and six goals went in for his side, but when Wes Forderingham’s baffling mistake allowed Alan Forrest to put Ayr ahead, the manager wondered if it was going to be one of those days.
Asked if he feared the worst at that moment, Murty admitted: “I did but I thought we showed good patience and character.
“Those are the things, allied to the weather and the crowd, that can make you freeze as a footballer, make you push a little too hard. But we kept our discipline and composure well.
“We scored the goals when we needed to score them. We’ve had games previously when we haven’t scored when we’ve been on top. We managed to do that today which allays a few fears for the players.”
Rangers played well, eventually, and a double from Alfredo Morelos, who missed a sitter a minute before his first, and a clever Jason Cummings goal at least hinted that there might be a partnership developing.
Murty said: “We have always said Alfredo misses chances but you have to be there to miss them and it took a high level of technique to finish like he did because I’d have sidefooted the hell out of it rather than lash it like he did.
“I would have been properly safe and that’s the measure of a striker as opposed to a defender, he was the optimist and I’m the pessimist. He finished it well and I’m pleased.
“His partnership with Jason is a work in progress, as we are as a squad. You’re not seeing the best of us at the moment but the beginning of the journey we’re on and there were brief flashes where it was good and areas it can get better and that will come the more they play and train together.
“The guys who came on had chances as well. We have goals in the squad and must just tighten up in other areas.”
And as for Foderingham, he was left off the hook by his manager.
Murty said: “Wes was fine at half time These things happen in football – there was no point in shouting or berating him.
“He knew he put us in a hard situation but he’s a big guy who takes responsibility. I was confident we had enough.
“I’ve got no problem with Wes. If we’re going to play out from the back and shift the ball then he’s going to have the ball at his feet. I’m comfortable with that – although I don’t want it happening too often.”
Neil Scally, the Ayr assistant manager, had mixed emotions after what in the end was a difficult afternoon.
He said: “I don’t think it was a 6-1 game so it was quite sore to take given the fact the majority of goals were scored in the last 20 minutes.
“It was a perfect start for us and although we rode our luck a couple of times in the first half I thought we shaped up quite well.
“A few players hadn’t trained at all this week so we knew they would tire, which is what happened.”