Mark Warburton airs delight as Rangers claim Petrofac Training Cup with 4-0 win over Peterhead

Mark Warburton secured his second trophy in the space of six days as Rangers overwhelmed Peterhead 4­-0 in the final of the Petrofac Training Cup at Hampden Park on Sunday.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 10th April 2016, 9:34 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th April 2016, 9:47 pm
Rangers players celebrate winning the Petrofac Training Scottish Cup
Rangers players celebrate winning the Petrofac Training Scottish Cup

Ally Gilchrist’s own goal put Warburton’s side ahead before James Tavernier smashed home a stunning volley for the second.

Late goals from Andy Halliday and Kenny Miller then got the party started.

Warburton paid tribute to the magnificent backing the Light Blues received from more than 45,000 fans.

“I’m delighted for the supporters who have had some tough, well­-documented times of late,” the Gers boss said.

“The level of support we had today was magnificent.

“The players have worked hard and they’ve achieved their goal so I’m delighted for them.

“It was important to get the job done. It’s been a good day and another trophy.”

On a difficult playing surface that has been the subject of much debate and criticism of late, the Rangers manager acknowledged that it had taken his players time to adapt to the special circumstances of the Challenge Cup Final.

“We had to come to terms with the occasion as well as the pitch,” he added.

“It took us some time to settle but the second goal from James Tavernier was magnificent.

“We controlled possession in the second half and created chance after chance. The goals were always going to come.”

Undoubtedly the main talking­point post­-match was the dreadful quality of the playing surface which incredibly is going to be re­laid for the second time in six weeks ahead of next weekend’s Scottish Cup semi­finals.

Warburton and Blue Toon boss Jim McInally were unimpressed with the standard of the field, with the losing manager even dubbing it “dangerous” after four of his men were left hobbling with injuries.

Hampden Park Ltd, who operate the venue, have confirmed they will put down new turf in time for Gers’ clash with Old Firm rivals Celtic on Sunday and Saturday’s last-four meeting between Dundee United and Hibernian.

It comes just five weeks after the pitch was last re-laid – and will be the fifth patch-up job in seven years – after Hampden’s pitch suppliers admitted the grass had failed to bed in properly.

But Warburton is not convinced the plan will work and reckons Hampden bosses are paying the price for not following the likes of Murrayfield and their costly hybrid surface.

“The pitch was difficult. During the first 10 to 15 minutes we couldn’t get the ball down and play,” he said.

“I know a lot of work is going on but I’m not convinced a new pitch can go down in time for next week.

“My concern is if we have adverse weather on Thursday or Friday – there’s a semi­final on the Saturday and another one on the Sunday.

“I’m not sure how you can bed a new pitch in inside three days.

“They must believe that change is necessary if they’re going ahead. I think it was five weeks ago that the pitch was re­laid.

“I know that problems can occur – but they have to find a solution. We want the best playing surface possible – what is going to happen if there’s adverse weather?”