Mcleish: Unfortunate Bally

by Mark Rowan

Rangers manager Alex McLeish felt sorry for former Everton defender Michael Ball following his misfortune at Ibrox on Saturday.

The 23-year-old star was making his 'second' debut for the 'Gers against his old club after a nightmare two years with a serious knee injury.

Things didn't get any better for Ball though as he deflected Alan Stubbs' last minute free-kick into his own goal to give Everton victory after earlier conceding a penalty following a challenge on Tomasz Radzinski.

McLeish appreciated that there was little his player could do about the free-kick, but he felt the penalty incident was a little harsh.

He said: "Poor Bally. He has deflected it past Stefan Klos when it was right in Stefan's hands and he has been unlucky with the penalty.

"There are suggestions that Radzinski took a dive and it wouldn't be the first time. But I thought he put his foot in and putting your foot in is always a risk.''

McLeish was forced to pick a makeshift team against the Toffees due to a number of injuries and despite the result he wasn't too downhearted with his side's performance.

He added: "It was a spirited performance with the players we had missing. Sometimes you think, 'Is this going to be too much for the lads who come in?' But I thought they showed up very well.''

McLeish added: "The disappointing aspect was to lose the third goal the way we did. The cheap free-kick given away was unnecessary.''

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