MARK WARBURTON admitted his Rangers team fell below their high standards after they dropped two valuable Championship points against Morton today.
Kenny Miller, on his return to the starting eleven, opened the scoring after just one minute and 17 seconds when he glanced a header beyond goalkeeper Grant Adam from James Tavernier’s free-kick.
It was a dream start for the league leaders but they were unable to build on their slender advantage with a Tavernier own goal and Stefan McCluskey’s fine finish putting the visitors ahead with just eight minutes remaining.
Martyn Waghorn came to the rescue with a composed finish to earn the Light Blues a point and Jason Holt could have claimed all three in injury time but he blazed the ball over the bar from Andy Halliday’s cutback.
Speaking to RangersTV after the final whistle, Warburton was honest in his assessment of his team’s overall display, he said: “There are no excuses, we were poor today, the players would be the first to admit it, they are a really honest group.
As a group of staff and players we know we were well below our best today and it shouldn’t take Morton going 2-1 ahead for us to suddenly show the energy and the purpose and the quality.
“All credit to Morton and there is no doom and gloom, the players recognise we lost a good opportunity today but we showed the character again right to the end.
“A bit more quality and we could have got the points we wanted but no excuses, recognise when you are below par and then find the solution and keep getting better.”
The manager continued: “We came out and we spoke about, in the first five minutes, show your quality. Show your tempo, your intensity, show your quality, with and without the ball, and they did that.
“Great first five minutes but then, to use the players’ words, after that we were poor first half. Just sloppy in our possession, sloppy in decision making, didn’t play with the urgency and the tempo that we normally play with.
“As I say parts of the second half were okay, but we never really showed the quality, so it was a bad day at the office in that respect and to use the skipper’s words ‘there’s no doom and gloom.’
“We have to recognise what we have to do better and where we need to get to and they’ll do that I’ve no doubt about that.
“We’ve conceded goals [today], but we haven’t taken chances. We probably had 63 to 65 percent possession or something. That’s irrelevant if you don’t maximise it.
“You’ve got to create chances and test the keeper and show your quality in that key final third, and today we didn’t.
“Too many loose balls, too many loose touches, too many poor decisions, lack of movement.
“Everything that you don’t associate with that squad of players, but today, as I said, was a bad day at the office, but no damage done, we’ve got to learn from it, and they will do because there is no doubt in the quality within the changing room, and we’ll prepare for next week now.”