McCulloch hails Gers grit

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Lee McCulloch insists Rangers' dramatic comeback against Hearts proved they have the mettle to succeed again this season as the Scottish champions attempt to defend their crown.

Walter Smith's men looked set to drop points in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at Tynecastle when they fell behind to a David Witteveen strike after being reduced to 10 men. However, McCulloch threw Rangers a lifeline when he restored parity after the break before Kris Boyd came off the bench to grab the winner from the penalty spot in the final minute.

"I think it shows we've got character," said McCulloch.

"Coming in at half-time after not playing the best in the first half and a man down away from home, you are obviously up against it.

"To go and score two goals and not give them any clear-cut chances says a hell of a lot about us.

"It was hard work. It was a really physical game and the first half was probably hard to watch.

"There were a lot of balls in the air and it was a bit of a scrap. That was their third game in a week but I think we started like it was our third game."

Kevin Thomson - making his first start since suffering a serious knee injury last November - was shown a straight red card by referee Craig Thomson for a challenge on Ian Black after just 14 minutes.

"We were sloppy, bad in possession and when Thommo got sent off it put us on the back foot a bit.

"They scored a goal but we changed our formation at half time and I thought we deserved to win the game."

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