MARK WARBURTON has praised his Rangers side for their patience and perseverance as they eventually wore Dundee down to defeat them at Ibrox on Saturday.
Striking deep in injury time, Harry Forrester sent the home support into raptures with a terrific, improvised header to remove any murmurs of frustration.
Warburton, who was at pains to express his gratitude to the Ibrox legions, explained the work his side are putting in throughout a match will eventually have a telling effect on an opposition side, and he was delighted to see his troops capitalise upon that on Saturday.
Speaking this week to RangersTV.tv, he said: “It was a good performance, and stats-wise, I think we had 700-plus passes, we dominated with 25-odd chances and, of course, the frustration is we weren’t out of sight earlier. I’m delighted for the boys for their perseverance – they stuck to the game plan and didn’t lose patience.
“They understand the crowd were becoming restless as they want to win the game of football, but I thought they boys were excellent and the rewards came in the last minute.
“I hope the crowd understand – and the crowd have been fantastic – that when we have so much possession, we are working the opposition and working them and working them to the point where they can’t kick the ball, and they just try and clear their lines and we pick up again.
“What we have to do is hopefully get the early goal to ease any nerves and frustration, but keep working them, as a mistake will come and all we’re looking for is half a yard, and if we can exploit that opportunity then all well and good.
“We talk about good players, and we tell them they wouldn’t be here unless they were good players, and to enjoy being good players, and I am delighted for them to get their rewards on Saturday.”
Barrie McKay was highlighted by Warburton for his performance having come off the bench at the weekend to have a great impact, and he was also full of praise for fellow replacements Joe Dodoo and Harry Forrester, the latter, of course, grabbing the winning goal.
He continued: “Joe came on in a wide area, and Harry, likewise to Barrie, has been frustrated, but he’s such a good ball player, such a clever player, and he showed his quality again on Saturday.
“You saw before where he won the free-kick after turning the centre-half, and he’s clever is Harry. He trained outstandingly well again this morning and he’s a real, smart player. He sees the picture early, gets himself in dangerous areas and is not afraid to take risks in the final third. All credit to him for a difficult finish.
“And Joe, who is more of a central striker, he came on out on the right, found himself over on the left, and delivered great ball in for Harry. I’m delighted with the substitutions and the team effort in general. David and I just spoke to them in our analysis there about how well they played, and I hope they recognise how well they played.”
Warburton was also delighted with the contribution of Joe Garner, saying: “He came short and dragged their centre-halves out of position. Aerially he is so strong in both boxes and he links up play too.
“When he comes short, players are coming beyond him – you saw Kenny [Miller] go beyond to receive in the centre-forward position, likewise Josh [Windass] and Holty, who again covered an amazing amount of distance and showed his quality.
“The players are understanding how we play as a team, the new players are gelling, so we are getting there.”