Sun, Nov

MARVIN ANDREWS sat down to put himself through hell in front of the TV as, outside, the world pointed a collective finger.

It was the evening of a dramatic Old Firm clash that had seen the big Caribbean stopper go to sleep twice as Rangers crashed out of the Scottish Cup at Parkhead.

Marv forced himself to look over the video of his mistakes that allowed the predators that are Chris Sutton and John Hartson to pounce and inflict killer blows in the Hoops' 2-1 win.

The big man had paid the ultimate price.

Suddenly, and for the first time, he found himself falling on the wrong side of the thin line that separates Old Firm heroes and villains.

Speaking just 16 days after that horror cup-tie, Andrews was brutally honest about his first outing at Parkhead as a Rangers player.

The 29-year-old revealed: "It was very sore for me because these are the biggest games of the season. I made two very costly errors and I was punished for that by two top strikers.

"I watched the game over and over and that was the only two things I did wrong - but it cost us.

"I am big enough to hold my hands up - I made the mistakes.

"But that is life as a footballer. I said when I came here that I was at Rangers to learn and a lot of things were going to be new for me.

"So these situations come along and you get setbacks like what happened to me a couple of weeks ago."

Andrews knows his response in the face of adversity was important as for the first time the spotlight fell on him for the wrong reasons against Martin O'Neill's side.

Back in November he had been a rock in the heart of the Rangers side that had beaten Celtic twice in the space of 10 days at Ibrox.

But he knew the knives would be out. A devout Christian, he sought solace in his faith, and also turned to a man who lent a big shoulder of support - his manager, Alex McLeish.

"I have to learn from what happened in that game," he insisted. "The manager has since shown me things to better my game, we looked at the situation and how the goals were scored.

"You have to accept criticism when it's due, and when someone is praising you then you have to take it the same way and keep a perspective. I know the way this game works.

"People said I had played well in the two Ibrox games against Celtic but then I got criticised after the cup tie - it's a fine line in Old Firm matches for every player."

He added: "But if you are a player who curls up when you get criticised then there is no point in playing the game.

"That is how life goes. In general life, people can make a mistake at their job and maybe cost their company money, it can happen.

"The main thing that separates a winner and a loser is how you react.

"I was hurt by what happened, but I am looking forward now and I want to do well and come back from it.

"I still feel I can have a good future at this great club and I will work hard to get it."

For all they trudged out of Parkhead gutted at a narrow defeat, the Rangers fans have responded well to Andrews since.

They recognise his limitations. But, in terms of sheer heart and honesty, there can not have been many who have pulled on a Rangers jersey and tried so hard.

"The fans have been great with me from day one," said the former Livingston man, "They have chanted my name and that means a lot.

"I know they have faith in the team and it's up to us to try and give them the success they want so much."

And Andrews knows that has to be the SPL title. A CIS Cup semi-final against Dundee United might be just around the corner, but for Rangers the ultimate prize is the championship.

He added: "I believe we can win the league.

"And I pray to God every day Rangers will be champions.

"We have come back from seven points behind to go ahead, but then we let it slip.

"It's close. But we just need to keep working away and hopefully we can achieve our goal of being the champions."