MARTYN WAGHORN has hailed Rangers’ resilience as they bounced back from a disappointing first-half performance to defeat Motherwell 2-0 at Fir Park this afternoon.
The English striker notched the second goal of the game in injury time after James Tavernier had given the visitors the lead, although he admitted there is plenty of room for improvement ahead of the Premiership campaign beginning on August 6.
“It’s nice to get a win in the first game, but I think in the first 10 or 15 minutes we were a bit slow and could have been better,” admitted the 25 year-old. “We obviously gave Motherwell a few chances too but we grew into the game and finished strongly.
“It took a bit of time for us to get going, but credit to the boys – we dug in, got the clean sheet, two goals and overall it’s a positive start to the Cup competition.
“We have come into every competition wanting to win and compete. We want to win every game – and that’s what Rangers do. We want to set markers down and set the tone for the whole season.”
Waghorn’s goal was a thing of beauty, a curling effort into the top left-hand corner that gave Well goalkeeper Craig Samson no chance.
It came just minutes after a highly controversial moment, where Samson appeared to deny Waghorn rounding him in a one-on-one situation outside his box with a glove.
Waghorn admitted the lack of a decision from referee Steven MacLean irked him, although he was pleased to get off the mark for the new season after enduring an injury-hit second half of the previous campaign.
He continued: “I’ll not comment on the handball, but the finish was really nice, and it was a bit of frustration coming out from the chance before. I always knew I’d get chances as the game went on and with the way we were playing as Motherwell were stretched, but I took my time, relaxed, saw the far corner opening and went for it.
“I got fit towards the end of last season, although maybe not match fit. I’ve had a good off-season where I’ve worked hard and come back raring to go. I feel great, feel strong, and for the second game into pre-season that’s not too bad.”
Waghorn also heaped praise on Josh Windass and Niko Kranjcar following their second half debuts, saying: “They have loads of quality. Josh is young and hungry, Niko is calm, collected and can pick a pass, so for a forward, hopefully they will create a lot of chances for me.
“It’s going to take them time to bed in, but the way they started today, and indeed all the boys, shows all the boys are together after our time away in America and everyone is settling in nicely.”