Rangers boss praises super sub Garner
Rangers interim manager Graeme Murty praised the impact substitute Joe Garner made as his hat-trick fired them to a 6-0 Scottish Cup quarterfinal win over Hamilton.
The 28-year-old English forward replaced Kenny Miller at half-time with the hosts leading 10 thanks to a Martyn Waghorn penalty and it took him just over two minutes to add his name to the score-sheet.
Garner then spent 11 minutes off the pitch receiving stitches to a cut below his eye after a clash of heads with Hamilton’s Blair Adams before returning to score twice after Jon Toral and Clint Hill had increased Rangers’ lead.
The former Preston striker enjoys a cult status amongst the Rangers support for his combative style, but had only scored four times before Saturday’s treble.
Murty — who was in charge of the Under-20 side before being asked to step up when Mark Warburton and his staff were sacked last month — was pleased to see Garner prove his doubters wrong.
“We said to him (Garner) from the bench that he had to come on and show why he is here,” Murty said.
“He has gone on and he has scored straight away.
“The clash of heads was awful I have to say and I hope their guy is alright.
“People were saying to me to get someone on but I knew he was coming back so we were just patient.
“The medical team did a great job and he managed to go on and get a few more goals.”
Garner had been lucky to stay on the pitch to claim his hat-trick as he escaped with just a booking in the 55th minute after catching Hamilton’s Dougie Imrie on the thigh with a wild swing of his boot.
However, Murty felt referee John Beaton had made the correct decision.
“I thought it was clumsy rather than malicious,” said Murty, who is unsure whether he will still be in charge for next weekend’s Old Firm derby with Celtic.
His opposite number Martin Canning didn’t agree and felt Rangers keeper Wes Foderingham could have also been sent off in the first half for handling the ball outside his box.
“I don’t think it is a penalty that goes against us and the goalkeeper is probably a yard or two outside the box when he handles the ball and I think Garner’s tackle is a sending off,” moaned Canning.
Rangers were joined in the last four by holders Hibernian, who defeated ten men Ayr United 3-1.