MARK WARBURTON reckons Rangers were ‘very good’ for parts of Saturday’s game with Motherwell – but insists there is still room for improvement from his side in defence.
Goals from James Tavernier and Martyn Waghorn handed the Light Blues a terrific 2-0 win at Fir Park in what was their first competitive match to put themselves in command of their Betfred Cup group.
Despite his delight with the players’ fitness and general play though, Warburton insists the team’s defending has to and will improve in order for them to achieve success this season.
Speaking at this afternoon’s press conference, the manager explained: “We were lapse early-on twice with an error on a back-pass etc., but we were very good and could have scored a number of goals in the second half which was great for our first game.
“We’ve just looked at it upstairs there and we have spent the last two days in analysis looking at it. It’s responsibility, its communication – all the basics. But, you can look at it and say we didn’t defend the free-kick for example – but who gave away the free kick? Who gave away possession in the first place? Who was sloppy in possession? Who was poor in their decision making?
“If you can take everything back and look at the mistakes – if we can tidy up in certain key areas – which we will do, then we will be a lot better for it. We need to recognise where we were weaker and improve upon it.
“Fitness-wise, we are at a good stage. The players went away to really hot, intimidating conditions in Charleston and they perhaps wondered if they were ready, and if they were where they should be on the scale.
“We dipped at 75 minutes on Saturday, and we’ll work on that for the next two weeks, but it was a pleasing place to be on Saturday. I thought we were good – very good in patches, but there are things we can improve upon defensively.”
Warburton also spoke of the responsibility he and his players have to the club’s supporters.
The club record 43,170 season tickets sold in season 2006/07 is now in serious jeopardy, and Warburton said: “Their support for us has been first-class. When you sell 42,000-odd season tickets, that is a magnificent number and it shows the backing we have received, and the players thrive on it.
“The responsibility we have is to justify that faith, so we have to go and prepare well here.”