Steven Gerrard accused his Rangers fringe men of missing the chance to impress as he admitted he was left bored by the Light Blues’ 2-0 win over Stranraer.
Gers booked their place in Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round draw after strikes from Scott Arfield and Jermain Defoe.
But a crowd of 38,560 had to wait 44 minutes to see the hosts finally cut their way through a side sitting bottom of Ladbrokes League One.
The second half did not offer much more entertainment and Gerrard refused to disguise his frustration.
He said: “The priority was to get into the next round, so I’m pleased about that. I’m pleased about the clean sheet and the fifth win on the spin.
“Outside of that, I feel pretty flat. For large periods of the game, I was quite bored watching it.
“Our fans came tonight really excited and hoping the players could put a show on and entertain them over the course of 90 minutes. Unfortunately we never delivered that.”
Gerrard made seven changes to the side which claimed victory at Celtic Park three weeks ago.
But even with teenager Nathan Patterson making his debut at right-back it was still a fairly strong side for the visit of Stevie Farrell’s part-timers.
George Edmundson, Andy Halliday and Jordan Jones were all called in for a rare start but Gerrard – who also gave a late run-out to 17-year-old forward Kai Kennedy – was hardly purring about what he saw.
“If you are outside the 11 at the moment, waiting patiently for an opportunity, and it comes against a team a couple of leagues below us, it’s a good opportunity for people to show me they are going to affect the 11,” he said. “Some people didn’t take that opportunity tonight.
“I was really pleased with Nathan Patterson. It was a very positive home debut for a kid his age who has only been around the first-team squad for a short period.
“Everything I have asked of Nathan, in Dubai and leading up to this game, he went out and did it.
“I’m pleased with young Kai Kennedy getting a debut as well but I wanted to give him 30 minutes, more of a taste of it. Unfortunately I didn’t have that luxury.
“So I’m pleased with a few things tonight but I feel really disappointed and flat with some things as well.”
Farrell was delighted with his team’s stout display as they refused to roll over against the Ibrox title-chasers.
“We worked all week trying to invite Rangers into wider areas rather than the centre of the park where they are so dangerous,” he said.
“I thought we did that. I don’t think Rangers carved us open this evening.
“Ultimately we’ve lost two goals – one from a second phase on a corner kick and the other from a penalty.
“Over the piece I thought we were excellent. There have been better teams than Stranraer who come here this season and suffered much heavier defeats.”