Warburton: We’ll deal with ‘shock’ of top flight
Aberdeen’s claims dismissed as naive
MARK WARBURTON, the Rangers manager, believes Shay Logan will be “shocked” at how good his team will be next season after the Aberdeen defender said the Championship winners are in for an unpleasant surprise on their return to the top flight.
The 28-year-old defender, who Warburton worked with during their time at Brentford, went on record earlier this week as saying the Ibrox side will be in for a far tougher and unexpected test compared to what they have experienced over the last campaign.
During an interview after signing a new deal at Aberdeen, Logan said: “They will be challenging but they will find it tough as we will be right up there again. No disrespect to the Championship but there are teams in that division nowhere near the standard of the Premiership.
“Rangers will get a shock at the quality they come across, not just from ourselves, but also Hearts and other clubs such as Ross County, Dundee and Motherwell.”
In response to those remarks, the Rangers manager insists that his group of players will be fully aware of the step up in opponent they will face when they take to the Ladbrokes Premiership in August. And Warburton even went as far as to say that it will not be his team that will be surprised at the quality of their opponents, but the reverse.
“I know Shay really well. Tell Shay I am not surprised he said that,” he laughed. “I know him well, but there will be no lack of awareness at the higher level.
“Maybe it works both ways. Maybe he will be shocked at how good we are next season. It can go both ways.
“But Shay is a talented boy who has done really well at Aberdeen. I’m delighted he has signed a new contract. That will be one of many tough tests we have next year. But we look forward to those games.”
Logan’s comments came fresh off the back of Aberdeen teammate Andrew Considine claiming the Dons will “put Rangers in their place”.
Again, Warburton refused to be drawn into a war of words, but did claim the theory of Rangers not being ready to compete was “naive”.
“The game is about opinions,” he said. “Whatever Aberdeen players say, Logan or Considine, it’s down to them.
“They can form their opinion and if they are proven right then fine. But I don’t expect anyone to let us roll them over. It’s going to be a tough division with lots of hard games, home and away.
“Every point has to be earned, but we understand that. There is no lack of readiness on our part. “I think that is a little bit naive.” Rangers bring their Championship campaign to a close tomorrow when they travel to the Paisley 2021 Stadium to take on St Mirren ahead of a threeweek break until their William Hill Scottish Cup final against Hibs.
It is an unusual time for all concerned around Murray Park, who will be given an initial few days off before preparation for May 21 begins. For Warburton, it is an opportunity to evaluate the campaign and, in particular, a troubling post Old Firm period that has seen Rangers lose twice and draw one.
“You don’t flick a switch,” said Warburton. “What we have to do is just recognise that we are probably tired.
“You can get fatigue and to play those sort of games – to win the league, the Petrofac and beat Celtic in that 11-day period – it’s understandable fatigue will kick in a little bit. I’m not defending it – it’s our job to defend against it. But we can learn.”