OLD FIRM debutant Greg Docherty insisted last night that Rangers deserved the dressing room dressing down which they got from their manager Graeme Murty for throwing away a priceless opportunity to win their first league encounter against Celtic since 2012.

A few harsh words were dispensed behind closed doors after yesterday’s Ladbrokes Premiership match gave the Parkhead side a surely unassailable nine-point advantage, with a game in hand, as they close in on their seventh successive Scottish top-flight title.

Docherty, who got through his usual amount of midfield work on his first exposure to the Glasgow grudge match, said that defeat left a sour taste in the mouth, not least because Rangers were twice in the lead, had a man advantage for fully 34 minutes and spurned a couple of glaring opportunities to gain at least a draw.

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“The manager delivered a few harsh words towards the group and that’s right,” said Docherty. “We know as players that it was a chance. Losing an Old Firm game is never nice and that leaves a sour taste. It’s extremely tough to take with a man advantage. For some reason we seemed to slow down [after they went to ten men] and that’s the disappointing thing.

“We should also be dealing with their second and third goal better – so it’s a very disappointing dressing room,” he added. “We should have made more of our chances as well but when you take the lead twice at home then you expect to get three points or a point minimum. End of story. It’s a big chance gone – we were ahead twice and got nothing. Sometimes football is like that and we’re just going to have to pick ourselves up.”

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Docherty refused to point the finger at Alfredo Morelos for the two gilt-edged second half chances which would have given Rangers at least a point from this encounter which they arguably deserved. “It was a chance for him but we missed chances before that as well,” said the former Hamilton Accies midfielder. “When we got in behind we created that great chance and that’s the annoying thing. It came too late in the game – we should have been doing that for the 15-20 minutes before it.”

The only good thing for Rangers is that they don’t have to wait too long until they get another chance. The two sides will meet twice in the space of a week in both the William Hill Scottish Cup and the league next month. “That’s maybe a good thing that it’s coming round so quickly. “I’m hurting at the moment and this match is not one I’ll remember fondly. I’ll be trying to forget this and look forward to the next one. We’ll have to pick ourselves up but it might take a wee while. We’ll prepare well and aim to win.”