MARK WARBURTON believes his side made three errors against St Johnstone on Tuesday night and that they were all costly as Rangers conceded goals on each occasion as a result.
The manager admits the defending for the Saints’ goals at Ibrox was disappointing and that he was left ‘frustrated’ after the 3-1 League Cup defeat.
Perhaps not surprisingly, reporters at this afternoon’s pre-match press conference at Murray Park focused on the club’s Cup exit, which was Warburton’s first defeat, as opposed to looking ahead to this weekend’s Championship match against Morton.
But while mistakes were obviously made on Tuesday, the manager believes on another day his players could have progressed to round four.
He said: “No one wants to lose a game of football, it’s as simple as that. So we were frustrated on Tuesday evening and we were back in on Wednesday and discussed it all, analysed the game and the footage and moved on from there.
“We made three errors basically. For the first goal we stop the cross, the second goal our shape wasn’t right from the corner, a couple didn’t do their jobs, and the third goal doesn’t happen.
“But the players involved in that have been outstanding for us this season with minimal goals scored against us.
“So we only learn from mistakes, we have to learn from our mistakes, or suffer mistakes to move forward.
“You look at the second goal and say ‘we got something wrong in terms of organisation.’ But it was a wonder strike, nine times out of 10 it goes into row x but it went straight into the corner of the goal. We have to learn from it.”
When asked if he was concerned that St Johnstone could have scored more on the night, Warburton argued: “I look at this; they should have scored a third goal before half time, absolutely. They missed from five yards out.
“Andy Halliday thought he was fouled but it wasn’t given and they should have scored, undoubtedly.
“But I think at the end of the game they had six shots and I believe we had 64 per cent of possession, so we have to be more clinical. I’m not saying that has been a flaw, it’s been a common theme.
“We score the goal, Nathan hits the bar, flashes one wide, we miss a header. That’s the random nature of football and the margins get finer as you go higher up.
“So maybe we have to look our positions, which we always work on, but I still think on another day we would be happy with the performance.”