MARK WARBURTON praised his players for their second-half performance against Motherwell, with the manager admitting they failed to test goalkeeper Craig Samson enough in the first forty-five.
The Light Blues went in a goal down at half time with Scott McDonald scoring on 19 minutes, but after the break they got more bodies into the last third with substitutes Niko Kranjcar, Joe Dodoo and Michael O’Halloran also having a positive impact when they went on around the hour mark.
Warburton said: “It’s difficult, we had a lot of the ball [in the first half] but the midfield had to come deep to get on it. When we are deep and we are flat there is no penetration.
“Kenny may come down short, but bodies need to get beyond him and if we do that we’re a really good side.
“So, for example, Andy Halliday in the second half, great from him. He got forward and it was a magnificent tackle to stop him scoring. He got in the area but what a magnificent defensive tackle to stop the goal.
“We are delighted for Andy doing that and Jason Holt does it very well as well, he gets forward and gets beyond and scores the goals.
“It was a more dynamic performance [in the second half], we moved the ball better, we got into dangerous areas, we opened them up time after time, wave after wave, to use the expression the boys use in the changing room there. But it was a pleasing second half and we got the three points.”
On the substitutions he made, the manager continued: “It’s important to use the squad as best we can and it’s not a negative about being substituted. It’s not a negative starting on the bench.
“Niko came on and made a real difference, Michael likewise out wide. Joe stretched it and Kenny is a goalscorer so we just moved him out, Baz came off.
“But again it’s not about negativity, it’s about using the squad, rotation of the squad, and hopefully getting the desired result.”
Joe Garner was paraded in front of the Ibrox faithful at half time today, and Warburton is delighted that the former Preston striker has now signed a three-year deal with the Gers.
He added: “We wanted four strikers and four centre-halves.
“You saw only a few weeks back, with Danny Wilson suspended we had Clint and Rob, no problem with those two guys, but we had no cover on the bench.
“So now we have cover in the areas, we have the options we need and it’s about the full squad, the 23-man squad.
“We have lots of injuries as you know, when you look now you’ve got Josh [Windass], you’ve got Matt [Crooks], you’ve got Holty, Waggy out injured.
“So you need to have that strength and depth, you need to have the quality in depth and we’ve got that.”