After seeing his side sneak a late 2-1 win over Motherwell, Mark Warburton was relieved to see his side in tomorrow’s quarter final draw. A second-half header gave Motherwell the lead before a late brace from Kenny Miller spared Rangers’ blushes.
Speaking to RangersTV Warburton said: “I think they call that a character building day! We moved and passed the ball well but didn’t penetrate enough in the final half and then the half-time talk is about taking the shots. Motherwell are well organised, they are well drilled and they are hard to break down. We got to some wide areas with Barrie, Lee and Michael etc. but you are crossing into a packed area so it is hard to break them down. We had to be brighter in that final third but we were working them, they were working the whole time and we knew they’d get a chance."
The manager had particular praise for Kenny Miller and subs Emerson Hyndman and Martyn Waghorn after the replacements set up a goal apiece for the veteran forward, saying: “I am delighted with Waggy’s ball in; it was a quality ball in and a great finish from Kenny. Then for Emerson to come on in his Ibrox debut and play that weight of pass and that quality of pass is superb – I am delighted for him. Kenny again showed his class and quality. I have never said anything about his age! People have asked me about his age and all I have said is whether you are 17, 27 or 37 I don’t care. When you look after yourself, when you prepare for a game, train well day in and day out, watch what you eat, stretch and take advantage of all the facilities at the training ground – Kenny does this.”
Rangers should have had a penalty just before the break when Michael O’Halloran was tripped by Motherwell’s Stevie Hammell. Referee Craig Thomson took no action and Warburton was frustrated at the error, saying: “I thought immediately it was a nailed on penalty, why would Michael go down? He has worked hard, had good feet in a tight area and made half a yard so if he has dived then book him. That is the obvious one for me, if one of my players dives then book him, absolutely but for us it was nailed on. Heads don’t go down but heads get frustrated because it changes the game and when a team are 1-0 down to Rangers at Ibrox then they have to come out a little bit. Then the defensive stranglehold, so to speak, changes and we can open up a little bit ourselves and play the football we want to play.
“It is a frustration that the right decision wasn’t made in our opinion.”