Some players, including skipper Lee McCulloch and Richard Foster, have received criticism at times from the Ibrox faithful and that tension in the stands was evident again in the second leg of their play-off quarter final with Queen of the South on Sunday.
However, a Lee Wallace goal was enough to secure a 1-1 draw and a 3-2 aggregate victory for McCall’s side and he said the supporters helped to play an important role in Rangers’ progression to the semi-finals.
He said: “We’re not a Graeme Souness team, a Walter Smith or a Dick Advocaat team; we haven’t got that quality but I’ve got to say the last two home games have pleased me so much with the supporters.
“There have been tense moments, we’ve given the ball away at times and you can understand the frustrations from the fans.
“But a couple of weeks ago, in the second last home game against Falkirk, we’ve gone down 2-0 and the captain gets a little bit of booing which was sad to hear at the time and inside two minutes the supporters had turned that on its head by starting to clap him and that response got us the draw that day. We were 2-0 down and we were flat and the supporters’ response got us that.
“The other day against Queen of the South we were a goal down, Kenny Miller has a header and the keeper pulls off a wonder save. Thirty seconds later they break on us, through on goal, and the boy Gavin Reilly overtakes his touch and it goes into Cammy Bell, and the crowd go phew.
“Thirty seconds from then the ball gets thrown out to Richard Foster, it takes a big bobble and he slices it into the Main Stand and again the crowd moan and groan and just show their frustrations – we’ve all got them. And we just appealed for a little bit of calm and support.
“Within a minute the ground was as loud as I’ve ever heard – and this was before we scored – and we break, get a throw in and 30 seconds later Lee Wallace is scoring. They got us that goal as much as anybody. And as much as people will look at it from the outside and say the crowd will turn on them, when that happened the crowd backed us the other night.
“It was easy to criticise because we had a really good 35 minutes, we lost a goal, we were sloppy five minutes up to half time, we came out again and I think the majority of the supporters realised we were doing well.
“And, again, against Falkirk and Queen of the South, the man of the match for them was the goalkeeper both times. It’s all about taking chances and opportunities.”
McCall says that as a supporter himself he understands the frustration in the stands when things aren’t going smoothly but says he wants the fans to continue to get behind the team and encourage the players.
He added: “Listen, we are all supporters, we all want the same thing and success and to get that you need to be there.
“I don’t want the players to freeze, I want them to go play with freedom. I don’t want them to be frightened to make a pass and anxious and we are all a little bit tense, but see when you work it the other way and you use that tension and sing and cheer, the difference it has in the players is incredible.
“I listened and watched it again the other day and I thought ‘that’s real supporters there’. They got behind the team when it would’ve been easier to turn on us.
“Don’t get me wrong there were still tense moments and there was still a bit of anxiety, which is natural, but we’re in it together and that’s the only way to be if you want to get success.”