RANGERS proving their strength in depth was the most pleasing aspect of tonight’s 5-0 demolition of Peterhead for manager Mark Warburton.
The Light Blues cruised to victory to seal a quarter-final place thanks to Niko Kranjcar, a Fiarce Kelleher own-goal, Joe Dodoo and a surprise Clint Hill double.
The clinical nature of the performance was also a positive for Warburton who explained to RangersTV.tv afterwards: “There were a lot more goals tonight which was good, and the keeper pulled off some excellent saves – the only disappointment was the fact we didn’t score more.
“We created some really good chances and you saw the balls from Jordan [Rossiter] and Joey [Barton] into Joe [Dodoo] and Michael [O’Halloran] in the first half – it was very positive. Harry came inside to allow Lee Hodson to go, and it was a really good performance from him and we know we have good cover now on both sides with the full-backs.
“The most pleasing message for me though was that whoever we use in the squad in whatever position – they can do the job and the strength and depth of the squad was very evident tonight.”
The goals scored by Hill came from tow excellent Niko Kranjcar deliveries, and the manager reserved praise for the pair.
He added: “We spoke about having some more physicality, and Clint did really well. The second goal saw him be very dominant and he showed good feet for the first goal as well.
“I’m delighted for him and the physicality is important, but tonight we defended well too, moved the ball well and it was a really pleasing night’s work. It’s tough to beat anyone, so it was a professional job tonight and we move on from there.
“Niko’s delivery was first-class for the goals, and it’s excellent both from the dead and moving ball. I’m delighted with that and for him getting the first goal. He showed great technique, and I am delighted with his performance and contribution tonight, likewise that of Jordan [Rossiter] and Joey [Barton] in midfield.
“It was nice too to see Jason Holt back after his couple of weeks out, so the squad is taking shape, fitness is good, and it’s all about us every day now preparing for performance.”
The starting debuts for Dodoo and Rossiter were impressive to say the least, and Warburton said of them: “They were both excellent. Naturally Jordan will sit in front of the back four, he loves that position, reads it really well and shows a maturity way beyond his years.
“Likewise, Joe offers something different. He ran the channels really hard, has natural pace, can go left or right side and gets his shots away early.
“I was delighted to see him get his goal, he really worked so hard and had five or six chances with the keeper pulling off some saves.”
Meanwhile, the manager gave an update on Martyn Waghorn’s injury, saying: “Not yet. We’ll get the results in the morning and see how he is. He feels a lot more comfortable so hopefully it is nothing more than a grade one.”