RANGERS dropped points in consecutive games for the first time under Mark Warburton this afternoon – and the manager was less than satisfied with the circumstances surrounding today’s loss at Falkirk.
Unimpressed with his side’s opening to the second half, he also pointed to Falkirk being awarded a penalty in the opening minutes where Danny Wilson fouled Will Vaulks outside the area – but referee Willie Collum adjudged the offence to have taken place inside the area.
Barrie McKay levelled matters and the visitors were largely dominant before Will Vaulks scored what proved to be the winner shortly after the break.
Rangers were then awarded a contentious penalty of their own in injury time where superb goalkeeper Danny Rogers denied Martyn Waghorn the chance to level the game, although Warburton felt Rangers had other potential spot-kick claims denied.
Speaking after the game, he explained: “We had a poor 20 minutes after half time. I’ve just seen the stats – we had 70% possession, 15 corners and X number of shots, but the fact is we gave the ball away cheaply in that 20 minute period, and they of course scored their goal and Wes [Foderingham] pulled off a World-class save.
“The fact is we recovered from an appalling decision, and if you look at the foul on Nathan Oduwa [just outside the area] later on – Nathan would have been the same distance outside the box.
“If you’re going to make calls of that nature you have to be positive. It was a bizarre decision and meant we went one-down early in an important game.
“It was a great recovery to get the equaliser and at half-time we were flying. At the interval, we went back out and we were in great shape, so that was really disappointing, and we’ve had a chat in there about why we gave the ball away so cheaply.
“But then, in the last 25-minutes, we dominated and we had to score the penalty. We had the chance, we had to score.
“There were a few other good shouts as well. We’re obviously very disappointed but the boys are very aware of the headlines that are coming and to feed off the negativity which will invariably come now as a result of that.”
The penalty call from the referee was a massive one so early in the game, although understandably, Warburton was cagey when discussing it.
He added: “If you give an opponent a goal, they have something to hang onto. We know we can dominate possession, but we have to hurt teams with that.
“I think 90% of the stadium knew it was outside the box, so it was a bizarre decision although I have to be careful about what I say.”
The final 25 minutes of the game saw Rangers pepper the Falkirk goal with shot after shot, but they found goalkeeper Rogers there in inspired form, denying Warburton’s men time and again as they desperately chased a leveler prior to Waghorn’s penalty miss.
The manager continued: “We hit the bar and their keeper pulled off a few excellent saves. The penalty, I don’t think was a bad penalty – I’ve not seen the replay yet – but my view was it was another excellent save.
“But the fact is we’ve lost a game of football 2-1. The stats tell us we’ve dominated the game of football but we have to be more clinical and more ruthless.”