CAMBUSLANG Rangers boss Alan Wardlaw admitted his side were going to be damned one way or the other after their 9-1 West of Scotland Cup win over Wishaw Juniors.
The cup tie, originally scheduled to be played away two weeks past on Saturday, was postponed, and when the fixture was rescheduled it was switched to Somervell Park early last week.
And the Lang faithful were delighted to see their side build on recent positive results with some good goalscoring form.
Alan said: “With all due respect to Wishaw, because they are in the division below, you can’t underestimate them, but at the same time we should be able to beat them.
“If you win 1-0, you’ll be criticised for ‘only’ winning it by one goal, and if you hit nine, then people will say it was expected because it was ‘only’ Wishaw.
“You’re damned if you do, and damned it you don’t.
“I must admit I’m very happy with the performance, very content.
“I had a wee blether with the players at the end, as tactics and formation can make a huge impact on the performance and style of play, so when we went 3-2-3-2.
“We used that last week against Yoker in the Scottish Cup game so we tried it again on Saturday. We’ve now played an hour and a full game and scored 13 goals with that formation!
“It’s not a 3-5-2, it allows you to be more attack-minded and have defensive cover in place when they attack.
“The shape will work in certain games, but not in others. It wouldn’t work if we went to Arthurlie! But if you think it works, you go with it.”
Alan was delighted with the way his players rose to the challenge of maintaining their standards after their 4-2 win over Yoker the previous week - and the fact that there were eight different scorers on Saturday.
Alan said: “I can‘t pick a flaw in anyone’s performance, but we were very pleased to have Thomas Kilmartin back on scoresheet.
“We can’t find records of any games when we’ve had eight different scorers in one game.
“Another thing I’ve picked up on is the quality of delivery from set pieces, as everything is starting to pay dividends.
“The bit that was frustrating against Greenock a few games back was we didn’t have a shot on target, and in the game against Shettleston we were not playing well and not creating chances, so the confidence went a bit.
“In recent weeks we’ve been critical when we’ve lost sloppy goals, and players have taken the criticism that was rightly levelled at them, individually and collectively, and gone on from there.
“I don’t think we’ve had a bad start to the season, I just think everybody was expecting more.
“The expectations were high - if you don’t achieve it, it will be seen as you not succeeding, regardless of how reasonable a start it is.
“We’re probably 10 points better off than we were this time last year, so hopefully Saturday’s win will be the wee spring we need to kick us on again.
“We had to make several changes with Andy McFarlane injured, Craig Ferguson at a wedding and Kevin Montgomery still recovering from his concussion the week before.
“We brought in Colin McGraw in goal and he had a couple of good saves, but he admitted he looked rusty.
“The defence looked solid, we had Mark Bishop in centre-midfield, the position he originally played when we signed him, and he and Ross Barr worked very well together, quite a physical presence.
“Aiden Malone had one of his better and productive games, but Deco (Kilmartin) looked a bit rusty and still got a couple of goals. He’s working up north just now, so he can’t attend training, but he’s been working on his fitness.
“Steven Mackie also looked good with his guile, and had one of his best games for us.”
Cambuslang Rangers host Vale of Leven at 2pm this Saturday at Somervell Park.
Alan said: “Vale of Leven always make it tough. Looking over recent results, over our last six games, it’s been 2-1 one way or the other in four of them. That shows how close our games are.
“But we can’t get carried away with one-and-a-half decent games, showing us how far we have to go.
“We want to win our home games, and continue the run of form.
“Thomas Hoey will be missing for personal reasons, but we’ll see how Montgomery is come the weekend. It’s difficult when you’ve got two very good keepers, but it’s always a nice headache to have - if you’ll pardon the pun!”
Talking of goalkeepers, Alan had to put himself on the bench on Saturday.
He explained: “We just felt if anything happened this week, it was better to have some cover.
“Last week we could afford to put Mark Bishop on, but it would unsettle the team if anything happened and we had to pull him out of the midfield, but thankfully it didn’t happen.
“Anyway, the shorts and top would have looked as if they were painted on if I’d had to come on!”