Old Firm new boy says Rangers will bounce back for their fans
Windass believes there’s no need to panic as Ibrox side have plenty time to get their season back on track
IT was the kind of experience that would have reduced a lesser man to a quivering, blubbering mess. Last Saturday’s Old Firm trouncing of Rangers didn’t offer up much joy to those inside Parkhead wearing something blue, instead probably leaving most in the away section wondering why they had longed to get to the end of the so-called “Journey” for the last four years.
It was a 5-1 scoreline but it was another performance that demonstrated Rangers have still to fire on their arrival in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
While the experience will be something those Rangers supporters will want to banish from their memories, for Josh Windass, it was a landmark moment in his career from which he was still able to accentuate the positives.
Following his move from Accrington Stanley in the summer, the son of former Aberdeen hero Dean was one of the few bright lights for Mark Warburton’s team against Celtic as he was favoured instead of Andy Halliday in the middle of the park next to that man Joey Barton.
Yes the result and team performance was obviously not what Windass would have wished for in his first Old Firm derby.
Yet the confident 22-year-old shows no signs of being scarred by the ordeal.
“To be honest, after the game I just wanted to play it again the day after,” he said.
“I loved every minute of it. I know we lost the game but experience and everything, I loved every minute of it.
“As a footballer you want to play in those games. It was the best experience of my life so far. We got beat and it was horrible but I can’t wait for the next game and the one after that. But until then we will take it game by game.
“The lads have been here long enough and they know the expectations.
“They believe in themselves. You’re not at Rangers if you are not a good player.
“The confidence will still be there and while last weekend won’t be forgotten about we can push on until the end of the season.”
Windass has only played four games for Rangers but already the Englishman has learned how failure, or even a draw, can be received by an Ibrox support that are struggling to temper their burning aspirations to see their side great again with the reality that, this season at least, consolidation is a much more likely target than a title challenge.
With that in mind, Rangers go into this afternoon’s home match with Ross County – the Highlanders’s first ever at Ibrox – knowing a reaction, in some shape of form, must be shown to reassure those in the stands that last weekend was the blip they hope it was.
He said: “It’s five games in and I heard Kenny [Miller] say once in an interview that Rangers had won the league when they were seven points behind with five games left.
“We’ve still got over 30 games left so to say we are out of the title race is a ridiculous statement.
“Last year at Accrington Stanley was totally different.
“We had the lowest budget in the league and we didn’t expect to win every game.
“It was different because here you could be 2-0 up at half time and still get booed off if you are not playing well. But the fans are good when you are winning. But you have to keep winning to keep them happy. It was a bad defeat, we recognise that.
“But because we lost to Celtic it’s made out to be a lot worse than it actually is.
“We are only five games into the season, there are a lot of new players at the club and there’s a long way to go.”
BEST FOOT FORWARD: Josh Windass of Rangers and Scott Brown of Celtic jostle for possession during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match.