IN the eyes of boss Mark Warburton, the team playing in red and white at Rugby Park this evening were unrecognisable as a Rangers side to him in the first half.
That was his damning assessment as his men squandered two points to Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership despite a vastly improved second half that brought a stunning equaliser from James Tavernier.
Warburton has now seen his side trail in three of the four league matches at half time this season, and he is demanding a major improvement from his men in their next league game – the away match at Celtic.
Speaking to RangersTV.tv, Warburton said: “It was very frustrating. The players are honest – they are a fantastic group of players in terms of that, but they know and we know that as a group of staff, that first half was way below the standard. It wasn’t a Rangers team.
“We had a discussion at half time and were much better in the second half with the way the players moved the ball and the desire they showed. They got in behind them and created chances, and I can’t think of anything else tactically we could actually do.
“But, we have dropped two valuable points tonight and we have got to learn as a group that it can’t take us 45 minutes to get going.
“We are all in this together though, players and staff, and we have do better in the first 45 minutes. If I knew why it was happening I would be a genius, but the fact of the matter is, we have dropped our level of standards in the first half and can’t play to the level we normally play at and do every day in training.
“I appreciate there are nine or 10 new players coming in and we are gelling, but we don’t want to drop points in that way. Our levels of training are very good and we need to make sure we take our levels of training onto the playing field.”
Despite his ire over his side’s performance at times, the manager also reckoned his side has a number of nailed-on penalty claims, saying: “I want to see them again. The players are adamant and we all thought we had four large shouts – how real they actually were – we’ll have to see them again.”