IT’S PREMATURE to say whether Rangers’ last gasp win against Queen of the South was the mark of champions – according to their manager. But it certainly showed the fight league winners need.
Martyn Waghorn missed a penalty a minute from time and then popped up in the 90th minute to steal the points with a header.
Warburton’s side had endured a frustrating time in front of goal and looked seconds away from losing their winning record in the league.
The manager said: “It’s too early to say that was the mark of champions, that would be premature but I think it shows that there is a good character, resilience and commitment – all the right adjectives!
“If you remember there were a few balls flying across the box that weren’t quite of the right quality but then Nathan put a great ball in.
“It was a superb ball in and then Waggy gets the header and we get the result.
“You saw the reaction of the players and it showed that they are in it together and the targets are really clear and as long as we’re united behind that one goal then we will be ok.
“They’re enjoying themselves in the dressing room after that and now the focus is Tuesday, we have another game and we have to be best prepared for that.
“If we are going to have a successful season then we have to make sure we are best prepared for every game.
“Teams are going to sit in and make it difficult for us and credit to Queen of the South for doing that.
“We stuck to our game and in the second-half we were patient in moving the ball and we had three or four good chances that we didn’t capitalise on.
“But to miss a penalty and then get the winner after that shows great character and I am delighted for Waggy as well.”
Before the game the manager told Rangers TV that the players had asked to dedicate the match to Rhya Story, who died of an inoperable brain tumour, aged just 14.
The team had taken part in a photo for the football mad Rhya just days before her death.
And because of that Warburton was especially pleased that his team displayed such a fighting performance, which saw them come from a goal down – Jason Holt scoring the equaliser.
He said: “What is most pleasing is that we dedicated that game to young Rhya and the players were conscious of that and you saw their reaction at the end and it was the least they could do for her.
“You have to show that fight and teams are going to make it very hard with nine men behind the ball and they’re strong, compact and solid and we have to break them down.
“Jason doesn’t go unnoticed by us, he had a really good game today, we are very impressed by Jason – his movement, his awareness, his tenacity, his work rate and commitment. He is united behind what we have to do and that is a key one for us.
“We have Livingston next and every game we go into is important, there is no point in talking about a winning mentality and being best prepared and then not worry about losing a game.
“We want to win a game of football on Tuesday and we’re playing another strong team and we’ll hopefully get the right result.”