Mark Warburton hails Rangers Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Celtic

Rangers manager Mark Warburton celebrates

Rangers manager Mark Warburton celebrates

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Rangers manager Mark Warburton believes the club and fans deserve to enjoy their sudden-death penalty shoot-out victory over Old Firm rivals Celtic which enabled them to advance into the William Hill Scottish Cup final.

Substitute Tom Rogic levelled in extra-time for Celtic having cancelled out Barrie McKay’s cracker, but skied his penalty over the crossbar to send Rangers through.

Former Celtic striker Kenny Miller had earlier given Warburton’s side a first-half lead before Hoops substitute Erik Sviatchenko equalised five minutes after the break and the former Brentford boss was delighted with the result.

“The club has been into a dark place in the last four, five years and they’ve deserved this so hopefully they enjoy this and we move forward,” he told Sky Sports.

“I’m delighted, listen outside, the fans were magnificent, the players were outstanding. I thought we deserved it and that’s the most important thing. It went to penalties and credit to both teams, but I felt we deserved it over the course of the game.

“We missed a couple but we spoke about experience and being able to deal with it, and that’s the experience and we’re better for it today.

“They all worked hard, Gedion (Zelalem), who’s 19, (Dominic) Ball, 20, (were) outstanding. (Barrie) McKay, (he was) all over the park so I’m delighted with the performance. We’re a better team for that, so we will enjoy this but we’re moving forward.”

Celtic had chances to snatch victory in normal and extra-time with forward Leigh Griffiths’ free-kick hitting the bar before the penalty shoot-out but Warburton felt his side were not worried about the experience Ronny Deila’s men possessed.

“Honestly no, I don’t mean that in an arrogant way but I thought we did control possession. We were loose from a corner for their first goal and loose on the break for their second,” Warburton added.

“But that’s something we have to learn from, but no one hid from the occasion, all over the park they were superb so I’m delighted for the squad. You saw we were down to the bare numbers today so all credit to them.”