Kyle earns skipper’s recognition

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas was delighted to see his

side stand firm in the closing stages as they wrapped up a 1-0

victory over Swansea at White Hart Lane.

Spurs have made a habit of conceding late goals this season –

including two in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Everton – but they

were able to keep a clean sheet after Jan Vertonghen had put them

ahead in the 75th minute.

Villas-Boas said: “It was a good, good win and I think we

deserved to win today. We did everything right today. We had so

many chances, so many opportunities to put the game to bed even

earlier.

“We concentrated, we were responsible and it would have been

very unfair if we had not won today.

“Swansea made it very difficult. Not only are they strong in

attack, but their defence is very organised. It was difficult to

break them down and we had to be patient.

“We were doing everything right in the first half and in the

second half. It was a tremendous effort from the boys and I think

they got the reward for their patience.

“You just have to be persistent. We kept the ball well, moved

the ball well and fortunately enough through a set-play we managed

to get the goal.

“You saw the players acknowledge the fact that we have been

suffering and showing great commitment to finish the game.

“Obviously the season is long and we will continue to suffer

goals in the last minute, that is the nature of the game. But we

acknowledge the mistakes we made at Everton and today we did it

well.”

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Kyle slotted home his third goal of the season from just inside

the box midway through the second half to put Rangers 2-1

ahead.

The former Kilmarnock and Hearts forward brought his team-mates

into the game well and was often the focal point of Rangers’

attacks during a close encounter at Links Park.

McCulloch, who cancelled out Lloyd Young’s 16th-minute opener

from the penalty spot, told his club’s official website: “I’m

really pleased for Kev, he worked very hard and thoroughly deserved

to get his goal.

“He’s got a physical presence, has a great touch and can get

goals as he showed so it’s brilliant to have him in the team.

“I know he took a knock but hopefully he will be okay and he can

get a run of games.

“He certainly gives us something different up top because of his

height and playing in defence right now myself I wouldn’t fancy

coming up against him.”

Manager Ally McCoist also praised Kyle’s contribution.

“I actually felt sorry for him, he got fouled a little bit,”

McCoist said.

“I did say to the referee that big boys can get fouled some time

as well.

“That’s the way he plays the game, he gets fouled, he is

completely and utterly wholehearted and I’m really pleased he is

getting one or two goals because he has worked ever so hard.

“I keep saying he hasn’t played for a long time and the big

fellow is what he is and it’s nice to see him getting the rewards

with a few goals.”

McCulloch’s equaliser came six minutes after Young took

advantage of slack marking to volley home following a long throw,

and although Dean Shiels finished off a counter-attack two minutes

after setting up Kyle, Montrose continued to fight back and create

chances throughout the game.

Substitute David Gray soon scored a superb lob to set up an

exciting finale, during which both Garry Wood and Scott Johnston

struck the frame of the goal for the hosts.

But Robbie Crawford sealed the league leaders’ sixth consecutive

Third Division win with the last kick of the ball.

McCulloch said: “That was a hard game, they started with two

players up top and that caused us a few problems, especially at the

death when they hit the post.

“It was a little bit nervy towards the end and I feel we could

maybe have done a bit better as a team.

“But we got the win and it keeps our run going.”