Falkirk 3 Rangers 2 Warburton rues late loss. Report Page10
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.”