Falkirk 3 Rangers 2 War­bur­ton rues late loss. Re­port Page10

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MARK War­bur­ton, the Rangers man­ager, ad­mit­ted he had “heated words” with his play­ers af­ter watch­ing them blow a two goal lead and lose 3-2 to their near­est ri­vals Falkirk.

War­bur­ton’s team had romped into a com­fort­able early lead at the Falkirk Sta­dium in a Lad­brokes Cham­pi­onship match watched by Ronny Deila, the Celtic man­ager.

Goals from Kenny Miller and Bar­rie McKay in the first 10 min­utes gave the Ibrox club an ad­van­tage - but they al­lowed their hosts back into the game in the se­cond half.

Blair Al­ston and Myles Hip­polyte both found the back of the Rangers net to level the match be­fore sub­sti­tute Bob McHugh popped up in in­jury-time to grab a dra­matic win­ner. “We had a few heated words,” said War­bur­ton af­ter­wards.

“But it’s good. We go to the next level and com­mu­ni­cate as a group. It’s about be­ing hon­est. The se­cond half wasn’t us, but we’ll be bet­ter for that. If we can learn from this we will be fine, es­pe­cially the last half an hour. If we don’t learn as a group then we have a prob­lem.”

Asked about the pres­ence of the Celtic man­ager at the de­feat ahead of the Scot­tish Cup semi-fi­nal next month, War­bur­ton said: “I don’t mind about Ronny. I hope he en­joyed the game.”

Peter Hous­ton, the Falkirk man­ager, ad­mit­ted his side had been un­able to live with Rangers in the first 45 min­utes and re­vealed he was re­lieved just to be 2-0 down at half-time. But he lav­ished praise on his charges for their se­cond half fight­back and in­sisted they could fin­ish in se­cond place in the se­cond tier ta­ble and avoid the first round of Premier­ship play-off matches.

“We are six points ahead of Hibs, they have got three games in hand, we have still to play them and we have got a bet­ter goal dif­fer­ence,” said Hous­ton. “Any­body who says we aren’t in their fight­ing for se­cond place is talk­ing rub­bish. Rangers were rip­ping through us in the first half. Their pace and move­ment was su­perb. I thought they were the best I had seen them in the first half. It is the best any team has played against Falkirk since I came here.

“But in the se­cond half we tweaked it a wee bit and the sub­sti­tu­tions worked. It was great to see, great to get three points. It keeps the pres­sure on Hibs as well.”

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