Geordie's display wins rave review from McCoist Gascoigne dishes up another capital show
4 Dec 1995
Hearts 0, Rangers 2
PAUL Gascoigne bowed out in some style at Tynecastle as he headed for a two-match suspension with a second-half performance which matched the 90 minutes of magic he provided at Easter Road the previous week.
After this latest display, striker Ally McCoist revealed that no-one in the Ibrox dressing-room had ever doubted that Gascoigne would succeed with Rangers.
While others wondered if the Englishman had lost the special skills which earned him a £4.3m price tag in the summer, his fellow players believed in him.
Said McCoist: "We all knew that he would be a success, we knew from the moment he joined us for pre-season training.
The way he was pushing himself back to full fitness told the rest of us what he was all about.
"But I think too many people expected too much, too soon.
If you look at the players who have come here, then you find that they have all taken time to settle, with just one or two exceptions.
"Brian Laudrup, for example, was an instant hit but that hasn't happened very often.
Paul has demonstrated in the past few games just what he can achieve with the club.
"It was in the second half, when he and Brian really turned it on, that we had our most profitable spell of the game.
"Brian did really well when he won us the penalty and then Paul scored the second goal that settled things.
"We have had two very good results away from home but we know that Celtic are still close behind us and that is what we expected to happen this season.
"From the start, there was this feeling that Celtic would be the team to give us problems in the league and that is the way it's turning out." For McCoist himself the penalty allowed him to celebrate his 250th goal in league football, a total which may, he joked, include three strikes from his time with Sunderland.
At Tynecastle, the penalty arrived after Laudrup had chased a ball to the touchline, brought it under control, then moved into the box, where Steve Fulton brought him down.
Hearts' manager Jim Jefferies admitted: "It was a silly challenge which Steve made on Laudrup and it cost us.
It was only after Rangers scored that they began to play.
"Before that, we had caused them problems and the way we handled Gascoigne worked for us until they went in front.
"We had Gary Mackay picking him up whenever he moved forward and we limited any damage he might have caused us.
"But, after the goals, they gained confidence and it was only in the last 10 minutes that we came back at them." It was another satisfying display from Rangers and arriving, as it did, back-to-back with the win over Hibs, it was an important victory.
As McCoist pointed out, Celtic are mounting a powerful challenge to the champions and there is little margin for error.
Against Hearts, the Ibrox men survived a first half when Jefferies' men might have gone ahead but for another memorable match from Andy Goram, who makes goalkeeping look simple.
Goram is so consistent there is a danger that the Rangers support may take him for granted.
They should not.
Instead, they should look back at the stops he makes, the confidence he instils in the defence, and his intelligent throw-outs, and recognise his importance.
The keeper will be called to action much more in midweek in Dortmund than he was at Tynecastle.
But Borussia, even with the class strikers they possess, will still find it difficult to score against Goram, who is rated by his manager Walter Smith as Britain's No.1.
This will be Rangers' last chance to salvage some pride from a Champions' League campaign which has been so disastrous for them.
Both Richard Gough and Charlie Miller collected knocks at Tynecastle but will be available for the game.
Indeed, only Ian Ferguson, who is injured, and the suspended Gordan Petric won't be available for the game against the Germans, who currently top their domestic league.
Hearts' mini-revival has come to an end after defeats from both members of the Old Firm but there is enough graft and talent in the side to ensure that they do not drop into the danger area in the table.
Gary Locke and Alan Johnston continue to prove that good, young players are emerging in this country.
They provide hope for the long-term future while veterans Pasquale Bruno, Neil Berry, and John Robertson add the experience which is required in the premier division.
Taken from the Herald