SHATTERED Ayr United assistant boss Neil Scally admitted Sunday's 6-1 home defeat against Rangers was "hard to take".

He felt the 6-1 scoreline in the William Hill Scottish Cup Fifth Round tie "flattered" the Ibrox giants.

Now he insists the players will dust themselves down and prepare for Saturday's crunch home league clash with East Fife.

Scally was encouraged with how his side started and said: "I don't think it was a 6-1 game, it was quite sore given the fact that the majority of goals were scored in the last 20 minutes. It was a good start for us. and although we rode our luck we shaped up quite well. We competed really well for 65 minutes. Then Rangers got the second goal and they were in full voice - after that it wasn't great from our side.

"Andy Geggan has had a calf injury and the league is the priority so we too him off."

He added: "We can take positives from the way we played in the first half but we switched off for a couple of the goals. .We won't play a team in our league anything like Rangers. The Rangers game will be forgotten about, we will go back to the drawing board, work hard in training, set out to play East Fife and go out to win the game."

Defender Craig Reid also felt United played well for more than an hour on Sunday.

He said: "The first half was very competitive. For 65 minutes we were quite comfortable and very much in the game. But we missed a chance to go 2-1 up through Declan McDaid, that was a turning point. Rangers are quite ruthless and every time they came forward they looked like seemed scoring. The scoreline It was harsh, it looked like we were battered but competed well with a top flight side for 65 minutes and can take heart.

"The league is the priority and we must focus try and get three points on Saturday and catch Raith Rovers. We hae a game in hand and have still to play them. We must try and go on a wee run. We went on a 13-game unbeaten run. We would like to do the same again in the league and will get back to training on Tuesday and focus."

Ayr United manager Ian McCall missed Sunday's Scottish Cup tie against his former club Rangers after undergoing emergency eye surgery.

He had hoped to be at the match but doctors advised him to stay away from Somerset Park although he was still involved in the background, calling Scally to take Andy Geggan to avoid aggravating his calf injury.

He hopes to be back training on Tuesday and could be back at the ground for the East Fife match.