06.11.2022 18:43 h

Rangers defeat at St Johnstone puts spotlight on Van Bronckhorst

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst said there were "no excuses" for a 2-1 defeat at St Johnstone that leaves his side seven points adrift of Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic.

The former Dutch captain is facing increasing calls from the Rangers support to lose his job just months after leading the Glasgow giants to the Europa League final.

Rangers dominated the early stages at McDiarmid Park but fell behind to a stunning strike from outside the box by James Brown.

Former Rangers striker Nicky Clark smashed home a second just after the hour mark.

James Tavernier pulled a goal back 17 minutes from time, but that was the sum of Rangers' response with Van Bronckhorst questioning the aggression of his forward players.

"If you lose 2-1 against St Johnstone there is no excuse," said Van Bronckhorst.

"I think the first 30 minutes we could decide the game with the chances we had. We didn't do that and then we get a goal against, which gives them only strength.

"If you concede a second goal like that, we shot ourselves in the foot.

"In the end we missed the aggression in the box. We had many crosses but I think we never touched the ball first."

Rangers next opponents Hearts will head to Ibrox on Wednesday buoyed by a 3-2 win over Motherwell despite playing for nearly an hour with 10 men.

Jorge Grant was shown a straight red card seven minutes before half-time, but the 10-men went 2-0 in front thanks to two goals from Andy Halliday either side of the break.

Louis Moult's penalty and Blair Spittal's strike brought Motherwell level, but the Steelmen were undone a minute from time when Sondre Solholm handled inside the box and Lawrence Shankland stroked home the winner from the penalty spot.

Victory lifts Hearts up to fourth and within two points of third-placed Aberdeen.