MARK WARBURTON has called on his side to test the opposition goalkeeper on a more regular basis to ensure they get what they deserve from matches.
Last night saw the Light Blues dominate against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park and create a number of chances but they were held to a 1-1 draw by Tommy Wright’s men.
Now, ahead of Saturday’s Old Firm clash with Celtic at Ibrox, Warburton is hoping his troops will find a more clinical edge in front of goal.
Speaking at this afternoon’s press conference, he explained: “If you look at one area of concern, last night we had 20-odd shots away from home and 63 per-cent possession. We had a good proportion of the football and dominated long stretches of the game, but didn’t get the rewards.
“We’ve got to test the keeper more, and there is an area of focus there and it has to be on gaining those rewards. We are working hard for them and it’s about the team – we defend as a team and we attack as a team. Last night seven or eight players had attempts on goal and they are working so hard and played some good football – but can we maximise those areas and get those rewards.
“People talk about formations and styles of play etc. At the end of the day, goals change games and it about getting your rewards. That’s the truth of the fact. What we have to do it be more clinical, take more care of the football, shift it quicker, try to switch it when we can, and hurt them, simple as that.
“We have come from where we have been – we got promoted this season and we said we would be highly competitive. That would be our aim and that’s what we are doing right now. We are going into this game, looking forward to it, relishing the challenge and we know they are a tough opponent, but we have to deliver a good level of performance.
“We have the players who are more than capable of doing that.”
Last night’s game also saw Clint Hill come off with an injury, but Warburton insists both he and Lee Wallace do have some chance of featuring come 12.15 on Hogmanay.
He added: “Both will be 50-50 at best. Clint got a nasty knock last night as you saw and had to come off with it. For want of a better term it was a dead leg – had it been a Tuesday night game we would maybe have been more confident, but we’ll have to see how he presents tomorrow.
“Fingers crossed for both him and Lee but they are 50-50 at best. They’re both senior pros, and the health and welfare of the players is almost of paramount importance, but they are senior pros and they know their bodies, they know what is right and they will liaise with the medical boys and we will decide accordingly.
“Lee is the captain of the club, and he has been outstanding for us – likewise Clint Hill has been very, very good throughout the season. Obviously it’s a negative blow for us in that respect, but we have good players throughout the squad – Lee Hodson can step in at both sides comfortably, and Danny Wilson likewise and we have Philippe [Senderos].
“That’s what having a squad is all about.”