MARK WARBURTON insists his players will learn from their painful 5-1 defeat to Celtic and that they will be stronger for it going forward.
Going into yesterday’s fixture hopes were high that the Light Blues could take at least a point from the first Old Firm league match of the 2016/17 campaign.
That, however, never looked likely with the home side a constant threat in the last third and taking the chances that came their way on this occasion.
Speaking after the match to RangersTV.tv, he said: “We spoke about it. We prepared well, we trained well and we talked as a group in there about being positive and penetrating and did we do enough of that?
“As I say, first half, you look at Linfield last week, Tav’s quality of delivery was outstanding but we had one cross in the first half [against Celtic] when Tav crossed it in and we get the goal.
“So we’ve got to look at that now. When we get it down quickly in the second half, at 3-1 and even at 4-1 when we were down to ten men – Joey, Tav, Andy Halliday, we played out, got Josh on the ball and we were brave.
“But we gave it away cheaply in the final third and that’s what we have to look at and we have to learn.”
Summer signing Josh Windass showed flashes of his quality and pace throughout the 90 minutes while the manager also praised scorer Joe Garner for the shift he put in in attack.
He added: “All credit to Josh, he came in and I don’t think he expected to play, but we wanted his energy, we missed that.
“Niko was obviously on a yellow card and the environment was such that I thought Niko might be sent off.
“So hence the change, but I though Josh showed good pace and desire, Barrie McKay never hid at all, Kenny was asked to do a difficult role to allow Tav to go – that was the thinking behind it.
“So as I say there were positives in some aspects – Wes’ distribution – but we didn’t do enough of what we do well.”
On Garner, he continued: “Again he will learn how we play. We saw a couple of times where he came short and they put the ball in behind. He went long and they played in short. That happens, that’s getting to know your colleagues and your teammates and that comes with training and working on it on the pitch.
“There were some positives but I’m not going to turn around in front of our fans and say we were positive about today.
“We’ve come to our close rivals and we’ve been beaten heavily today. We looked at the game and it shouldn’t happen.”