War­bur­ton riled by ‘dis­re­spect­ful’ crit­i­cism of his Rangers play­ers

The Herald - Sport - - FRONT PAGE - STEWART FISHER

MARK WAR­BUR­TON ac­cused the crit­ics of dis­re­spect­ing his play­ers af­ter Rangers took out the frus­tra­tions of their mid­week League Cup de­feat to St John­stone on Lad­brokes Cham­pi­onship ri­vals Mor­ton yesterday.

A hat-trick from Mar­tyn Waghorn and a James Tav­ernier goal earned the Ibrox side a 4-0 win at Cap­pielow. The re­sult took them nine points clear of Falkirk, their near­est chal­lengers, at the top of Scot­land’s sec­ond tier and helped ban­ish the mem­ory of their 3-1 re­verse to the Perth side. “The play­ers were ready,” the Rangers man­ager said: “They were riled by some of the com­ments. They trained re­ally well and there was no doubt we were go­ing to go out and start well.

“I knew Jim [Duffy, the Mor­ton man­ager] would have pre­pared his team ac­cord­ingly, but we were good in that first half hour. I would say they [the play­ers] were hurt [by the crit­i­cism af­ter the cup tie]. It was a lit­tle bit dis­re­spect­ful. They’ve now played 13 games and won 12. Ev­ery­one loses a game of football at some point. We’ll learn from it. But I just thought some of the com­ments were a lit­tle bit over the top con­sid­er­ing we had lost one game of football.”

Andy Hal­l­i­day ad­mit­ted the Rangers dress­ing room had been fired up af­ter the mid­week set­back, their first of the cam­paign, but said he had been sur­prised by how much the sup­port­ers had stuck be­hind the play­ers. “It was im­por­tant we bounced back af­ter Tues­day night,” the midfielder said. “It was good to have a game so quickly af­ter such a dis­ap­point­ing re­sult.

“We started with a high in­ten­sity and that has been lack­ing the last two or three games. We had some­thing to prove – we wanted to prove some­thing to our­selves. We want to prove we can main­tain a con­sis­tent level ev­ery game.

“Such are the high de­mands at Rangers that a de­feat is un­ac­cept­able. But I thought the fans were dif­fer­ent class and that’s prob­a­bly be­cause they are buy­ing into the way we want to play. They came here in num­bers to Greenock and got right be­hind us again. As play­ers, we were frus­trated be­cause we want to win ev­ery cup we are in. We got knocked out and nat­u­rally we were dis­ap­pointed so it was im­por­tant to bounce back.”

Duffy ad­mit­ted his side had been

sec­ond best while also be­moan­ing the in­di­vid­ual er­rors which had cost his team. The first goal came from a penalty af­ter Ross Forbes had dived in on Nathan Oduwa.

Duffy said: “Rangers had a bit of crit­i­cism af­ter the mid­week game and you could see it fired them up.

“I said to the play­ers be­fore the game that Rangers had al­ready had six penal­ties this sea­son so we warned them not to dive in but we did.

“That is the frus­trat­ing thing but you must ap­plaud Rangers’ style of football be­cause it’s very pleas­ing on the eye.”

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