AFTER a quite stunning 4-2 triumph over Hibernian, manager Mark Warburton paid tribute to his side’s character as they overcame adversity time and again to claim the points.
A goal down, the Light Blues hit back twice through Jason Holt before Nicky Clark added a third. Andy Halliday was then controversially dismissed and Hibs pulled it back to 3-2, but Rangers dug-in and Martyn Waghorn sealed the victory it in the final minute.
The noise around Ibrox throughout the 90 minutes was incredible, and the manager paid tribute to that as well as his players’ performance.
Speaking after the game to RangersTV.tv, he said: “We showed outstanding character. There were a number of boys experiencing the Ibrox theatre out there for the first time with that sort of intensity, and the support from the fans was magnificent.
“We played at our intensity and our tempo, and I just thought we were very, very good today, and despite what happened late in the game, we still showed tremendous character, work ethic, and I thought we thoroughly deserved our three points today.”
Jason Holt was voted ‘Man of the Match’ for his two goals, but it was his overall performance which caught Warburton’s eye the most.
The manager continued: “Yes, he’s scored the goals – and that was fantastic – but on top of that, his work ethic, commitment, desire and effort for the team was tremendous. He’s still a young player, and he has enormous development potential ahead of him – so all credit to Jason today.”
Some would point to Nicky Clark’s goal as being he crucial one on the afternoon given it handed his side a two-goal cushion, and Warburton was thrilled with Clark and fellow substitutes Dean Shiels and Dom Ball.
He added:“We created a number of chances before then – we had a lot of ball, got players in good positions and moved the ball very well.
“So I was delighted for Nicky – and all the subs when they came on. Nicky obviously, Dean, who added that energy, quality and desire in midfield, and young Dom Ball who was asked to play an unfamiliar role.
“But it’s about the team and the squad, and we talk about all the players – not just the 11 or the 14 – the entire squad and the backroom staff. Hopefully we get it right together and win things together.”
One dark spot on the afternoon was, of course, the red card for Andy Halliday,and Warburton confirmed Rangers will be appealing the decision.
He was however heartened by the way in which his side responded to that blow, insisting Rangers would never revert to defensive football against anyone.
He concluded: “I’ve just seen it there – what am I allowed to say? Again, it’s another decision I find baffling and of course, we’ll appeal it, and hopefully get the right result as other teams have done.
“We didn’t want to go negative – and we are not a team who can sit in and play negative football, so I thought we got the balance right and all credit to the players on the pitch for finding a solution, and we ran-out deserved winners.”