MARK WARBURTON thinks he has no reason to defend Joe Garner after his combative display against Aberdeen at the weekend.

The Gers boss has been asked questions of his summer signing over the past few weeks and he thinks the 28-year-old answered them against the Dons.

Since arriving in late August from Preston the striker has found the net three times and his manager believes his Saturday display proved he can provide the Light Blues with a different type of outlet up front.

Warburton said: “Joe Garner I thought was excellent on Saturday, he gave us an aerial outlet as well, won a number of first balls, showed his physicality, his presence and the dynamism of his movements.

“So there is an outlet for us as long as it is a cultured forward ball we will find him.

“The best thing to do is always find the space behind and what our job to do is to find that and we will keep working on that. Teams will press on and we have to find the answers to that.

“The nonsense that is written about Joe Garner, I haven’t got to defend him, how am I going to defend him?

“He scored three goals in six games but he is coming in finding his feet, finding out what it means to play for a club of this stature. He is an experienced pro and I have no doubts about him.

“I am delighted for him and was delighted our crowd could see what Joe is all about; he has a first class work ethic and desire.

“You see his movement, his ability and his qualities were there for everyone to see on Saturday.

“He enjoys his football and has a desire to play, he enjoys the game and he is learning how we play, he gets more of the ball in different areas of the park with runners going beyond him and there will be certain elements which are new to him.

“He is a good pro, a good learner, a smart guy and he is picking up things very quickly.”

Warburton also took the opportunity to answer criticism of his favoured 4-3-3 formation, which he says isn’t a rigid set-up if people look carefully and he believes his side’s win over the Dons showed that.


The Rangers manager admits his team have had to adapt in recent weeks as teams allow them less of the ball.

He continued: “I read so much nonsense about rigid formations and they don’t recognise the movement within a formation.

“Whether it is 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-4-1 or a 4-3-3 it is all about movements and patterns, whether you play a two and a one or a one and two in midfield or whether you narrow up as a frontline.

“There is a lot of ignorance in certain quarters but the fact of the matter is, we showed an ability to adapt on Saturday.

“We can move positions around and we want the players to dominate the football still, we want to move the football, we want to control the ball if we possibly can.

“Although we didn’t do that for long periods on Saturday when we did do it we looked very good, an example of that is Lee Wallace’s movement for his chance and the ball from Barrie McKay to Martyn Waghorn and Barrie’s movement to supply Lee Hodson. They were good glimpses of quality.

“Can we be more consistent than that? That is our aim obviously but I know we can adapt, that is for sure.”

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