MARK Warburton says his side are on the lookout for Partick Thistle’s weaknesses as they search for back to back wins in the Premiership.
The manager says he expects Thistle to play three at the back as the formation grows ever more popular in the league.
But he isn’t too worried about how Rangers’ opposition line up nor is he placing too much significance on the fact Aberdeen’s inclusion in the League Cup final this weekend means a win would send the Light Blues second.
Warburton said: “I wouldn’t say it is irrelevant but it’s important you just worry about yourself, it is the next game and that is all the focus is on.
“It is three more valuable points so I understand the implications with Aberdeen not playing in the league and we could go into second place, I get all that but the key thing is focus on yourselves and focus on the game.
“People change formation for a reason, they might change it because of the personnel they have in their playing squad, it might suit their playing squad and their strengths.
“But for every strength there is a weakness, so you have to try and expose that and try and use your strengths to exploit that.
“People will tell you three at the back are vulnerable to the switch and how to beat formations but ultimately it is about your players and how they play, how they deal with the football and how they deal with the situations that the game throws up.
“They are another team who’s result probably haven’t been a reflection on how they have played and it’s another tough challenge, a tough place to go and a good playing surface.
“They will be scrapping for points, as everyone is, so we’ll go there, try and dominate the football and do what we do.
“Every team is hard to beat, we expect them to play three at the back, similar to Dundee last week, it seems to be the “in” formation at the moment but it is effective.
“They are well organised, good quality, have pace up front and are very managed. We know the threat we face but I say that week in and week out.”
Rangers move into an important run of fixtures this weekend and will play three games in a week, a rarity in the Premiership.
That places new demands on the squad according to Warburton; the Gers boss welcomed Martyn Waghorn back into full training this week after the striker bruised ribs in an Under 20s game last Tuesday.
Josh Windass is also likely to be available after an ankle problem forced him off against Dundee and prevented from training all week.
The manager said: “The challenge is that we have a three game week; we face Partick on Saturday, Hearts on Wednesday and Aberdeen on Saturday so it is a tough three game run.
“It is about using the personnel to try and make the right decisions. The substitutes who came on at the weekend did very well as did the lads who came off the pitch for them.
“Jordan Rossiter won’t be available this weekend but Martyn Waghorn is back in full training and will be available for Saturday.
“Josh Windass hadn’t trained until this morning (Thursday) that is why he came off last weekend, he had an injury and had a fat ankle on Sunday morning.
“That has gone down now and he trained well today so Josh will be fine.”