If anyone doubted just how much of a perfectionist new Rangers Manager Mark Warburton is then they only had to study his summing-up of Saturday’s overwhelming 6-2 Challenge Cup win over Hibernian – the first-half in particular.
Doubles from Martyn Waghorn and Kenny Miller along with strikes from Andy Halliday and James Tavernier gave Rangers a comfortable win.
Sam Stanton had given the home side the lead with Jason Cummings converting a penalty as Hibs were overwhelmed.
“It was a good result and good for the fans who gave us tremendous backing - but I wasn’t happy with our first-half performance which was well below our required level,” said Warburton.
“We were hesitant and gave the ball away too easily. There was poor decision-making and we were sitting too deep. There are fine margins in football. We weren’t at the races in the first-half – we didn’t pass the ball, we didn’t dominate and runners came off of us. Hibs are a good team and could have been two or three goals ahead.”
At least a second-half that produced four goals was to the new manager’s liking.
“we got a good response after half-time. Our work ethic was very evident - they are an honest group of players. We wanted to get a result today,” he said.
“This is a tough place to come – it was a good result against high-quality opposition. We had a positive mind-set and were still going strong even in the 88th minute. Martyn Waghorn did very well - don’t forget he only joined us on Monday afternoon.
“We’ve got to be positive, we’ve got to be hungry for the ball. It’s all about self-belief – we didn’t use the full-backs in the first-half but in the second Tavernier and Wallace got plenty of the ball and imposed themselves on the game.”
There was praise from Warburton for Northern Ireland international Dean Shiels and his fellow substitutes
He continued: “Dean Shiels along with Kenny Miller and Nicky Clark came on and added energy and quality to the team. It’s a long season and it’s all about the strength and quality of your squad. It’s still early days but the squad’s getting stronger and that bodes well for the future.”
Warburton has quickly recognised the scale of the task he has encountered at Ibrox.
“The level of expectation at this club with its’ history and stature is very evident.”
Whilst Warburton would make no comment on the possible signing from Hibernian of Scott Allan, Alan Stubbs could not have been clearer.
“Not for sale,” said Stubbs.