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FREDY BEARS; Rangers 4 Dundee 1; Morelos at the double after Wind of change.

Byline: Scott McDermott

Pedro Caixinha insists Alfredo Morelos will only get better after watching the Colombian bag a double to help sink Dundee.

The 21-year-old has been a revelation at Ibrox since his PS1million summer move from Finnish side HJK Helsinki.

The strikes against the Dark Blues took his tally to seven so far this term but the Gers boss believes Morelos is just warming up.

Caixinha said: "Alfredo is a goalscorer, his record in Finland shows that.

"But he's also a hard worker and we needed someone like that to put pressure on defences.

"He arrives a lot in the box and we know what he's capable of. I'm pleased for him.

"I don't know how many he can score but he already has seven and it's early in the season. I know the boy wants it and we're working with him.

He's keen to learn and always listens. His English is getting better so he can understand others.

"He's got the tools but we want to give him time. He's a goalscorer but we want more from him and we'll help him get better."

Josh Windass might never hog the headlines like prolific Morelos or mysterious Mexican Carlos Pena who grabbed his first Rangers goal yesterday. But make no mistake, his introduction from the bench against the Dark Blues was pivotal to his side's 4-1 success.

Windass lost his place on the left flank to Niko Kranjcar through injury for the last game at Ross County. But when he replaced the Croat here, he was instrumental.

And his stunning header, to put Caixinha's men 2-0 up, was vital in securing three priceless points.

Windass has had his critics since Mark Warburton brought him to Ibrox from Accrington Stanley.

But the 23-year-old finally looks ready to make an impact and was delighted with his display against Neil McCann's men.

He said: "It was great to come on and score. Before the game I knew I was going to be a sub but I said to myself that if I got on I'd try to make the team better.

"Thankfully I did that. You can see the quality we have in reserve now. Boys like Jason Holt and Dalcio didn't even make the bench today.

"It shows the depth we have in the squad and that has to be a positive.

"I started the season really well and was disappointed to get injured against Hearts.

"Hopefully I can stay fit now and score a few goals."

Before kick-off yesterday RAF men abseiled off the Sandy Jardine stand as part of the club's Armed Forces Day.

And that was more thrilling than the 45 minutes that followed.

It was competitive and at times compelling as Dundee tried to nullify Rangers - as well as posing a threat themselves.

But in terms of entertainment it wasn't great.

Rangers had the bulk of the ball but there was no zip or tempo about Caixinha's side on a dry pitch.

Their build-up play was laboured and when they did get into dangerous positions, a lack of quality let them down - with veterans Kranjcar and Kenny Miller the worst culprits.

Before their opener, Rangers' best bit of play came from a brilliant volleyed kick-out by keeper Wes Foderingham, who was making his 100th appearance.

He picked out Daniel Candeias on the run and the winger fed Kranjcar with a teasing cross but keeper Scott Bain made a point-blank stop.

After that it was a bit ponderous from Gers and Dundee could have taken advantage on at least one occasion.

From a Rangers corner, McCann's side sprung a counter-attack and had a man over.

But Faissal El Bakhtaoui failed to execute the right pass - with a frustrated Roarie Deacon all alone in the box.

Dundee were holding their own, despite missing the experience of Darren O'Dea and Paul McGowan who were on the bench.

Youngsters such as Kerr Waddell, Lewis Spence and particularly Jack Hendry were impressing.

Scott Allan had his every touch booed by the Rangers support and the on-loan Celtic midfielder was hooked before the break in a move which delighted the Ibrox crowd.

No sooner had he gone off than Rangers were in front.

They had threatened before with Cammy Kerr blocking a Kranjcar shot then Morelos rounding Bain but hitting the side-net.

The Colombian wasn't to be denied though as he opened the scoring just before the break.

Miller fed Candeias and his clever flick put Morelos in on goal.

He took it first time and rifled into the bottom corner - even though Bain's hand appeared to help it in.

Of all Caixinha's summer signings, Morelos must be the one he's most pleased with so far.

He's young, puts a shift in and looks hungry for goals. At PS1m it would appear the Rangers gaffer has got himself a bargain.

His goal should have lifted his team and been the catalyst for a comfortable afternoon.

But initially it was the Dark Blues who looked dangerous.

Allan's replacement A-Jay Leitch-Smith whipped in a delicious cross right on to the head of Deacon but his effort went just wide.

It was a warning to Gers that the points weren't in the bag. Morelos then had a chance to either make it 2-0 himself or square the ball to Graham Dorrans for a tap-in.

But he was wasteful and his attempted pass was cut out.

When Windass came on Rangers stepped up the pace. Candeias forced a save out of Dundee's No.1 with a curler that was clawed away.

And just after the Dark Blues had a sniff at the other end - when James Tavernier cleared Kevin Holt's header off the line - Rangers finally put them to bed.

Candeias, who was excellent all day, conjured up a cross that was begging to be put in and Windass rose to power a header past Bain.

It was a cracking goal and the killer one for McCann's team.

The Dens Park side wilted late on.

Windass was causing them all sorts of problems on the left and he teed up Pena for his first Rangers goal.

The Mexican smashed the ball home for eight yards out as he finally showed a glimpse of what he's capable of.

Morelos then put the icing on the cake near the end. He lashed in a cross from an acute angle that Bain should have kept out.

But the keeper could only beat it in at his near post.

Yet even then, Caixinha still raged on the touchline when Rangers conceded before full-time.

El Bakhtaoui punished some slack defensive play to slot past Foderingham.

But it was too little too late for the Dark Blues.

No way I'll panic at Dens

Defiant Dundee boss Neil McCann has told Dark Blues fans not to panic and insists he's in the job for the long term.

The Dens Park club have picked up just one point out of 15 at the start of the Premiership campaign after losing 4-1 to Rangers at Ibrox yesterday.

But McCann, who was in temporary charge for a short spell last season before taking the job full-time, says he isn't worried about their form.

And he has told supporters he's building for the future.

McCann played youngsters Kerr Waddell and Lewis Spence against Gers and said: "I'm not concerned about where we are in the league but that's not to say I'm happy about it.

"I won't accept a defeat easily. But I can't be over-critical of my boys. I asked them to be brave.

"I wanted us to play attractive football and be open. I could have played experienced guys and been hard to beat, trying to nick something. But I felt the young boys could perform.

"Lewis had a fantastic game in his first league start.

"If we have aspirations to move forward I have to allow the players a bit of freedom.

"It's a sore lesson but we'll dust ourselves down. I'm not panicking at all.

"The Dundee fans might be unhappy but I'm not in this for five games this time. I'm in it for the long haul. I'll get it right."

McCann hooked playmaker Scott Allan after 38 minutes and appeared to be unhappy with him. But he said: "Scott has been struggling with a groin injury and you can't have anyone not 100 per cent at Ibrox."

GAME CHANGER Bringing on Josh Windass on the left gave Rangers much-needed drive and pace. The sub lifted his side and scored a superb second goal.

CAPTION(S):

SNAP HAPPY Caixinha poses for a pic (above) during Gers' Armed Forces Day

DEADLY Morelos rifles home opener (left) for Gers then Windass makes it 2-0 with a classy header (below)

LIFT OFF Morelos celebrates opener then grabs No.4 (far right) after Pena opens his account (right) but Dundee ruin clean sheet
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:Sep 10, 2017
Words:1476
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