Mark Warburton becomes first Rangers manager since 1920 to win opening eight games

Rangers' Martyn Waghorn celebrates scoring his side's fifth goal
Rangers' Martyn Waghorn celebrates scoring his side's fifth goal

Not for the first time Mark Warburton took his Rangers team to a ground regarded by most as a difficult and awkward venue and left with a resounding victory.

Goals from Andy Halliday, Jason Holt and Barrie McKay plus two Martyn Waghorn penalties ensured Warburton became the first Gers boss since Bill Struth in 1920 to win his first eight games in charge.

James Fowler’s team did pull one back with quarter of an hour left when Aidan Smith ran in to beat Wes Foderingham.

But the damage had already been done to Queens and their 100-per-cent winning league start after Derek Lyle received a controversial red card moments after half-time following a flashpoint with Rob Kiernan.

Warburton underlined just how much of a challenge he had expected the home side to provide.

“This was a tough test this afternoon – it’s a tough place to come. We had no doubts about the test they would offer us this afternoon – they had played three and won three,” he said.

“It was a difficult surface but we kept the ball well.

“It’s important for us to maintain our standards, to take no liberties and keep playing football. We must maintain our focus. That’s eight wins we’ve achieved – and it’s all down to the players.”

Warburton was honest enough to acknowledge that a key moment in the match was a red card for Lyle, and to concede that the decision by referee Bobby Madden appeared harsh.

“The red card was very, very harsh. I’ve got to be very careful what I say about match officials but for me that was a big call right at the start of the second-half,” Warburton added.

“It looked nothing more than two guys hand-bagging each other and two yellow cards would have sufficed.”

Warburton also provided an update of the injury to Lee Wallace, substituted after little more than half-an-hour.

“Lee got an impact injury on the right side of his knee in the first two minutes but it was mainly precautionary to take him off,” he revealed.

“It’s a long season – he’s captain – there’s no point in taking unnecessary risks.”

There was praise from the Ibrox boss for winger Barrie McKay, who spent all of last season on loan at Raith Rovers, and the previous campaign under Kenny Shiels at Morton but who has been a revelation in these early weeks.

“We looked at the squad when we came in,” Warburton added.

“He’s a young player with great technical ability, real desire, and quick. He applies himself really well. At the age of twenty he has a huge career ahead of him.”

Amongst the goals was Holt, who like his manager recognised that this was a big win at one of the best teams in the Championship.

“This is a difficult place to come – it was great to win so convincingly. Our aim was to get the three points. We played some great stuff in the second-half,” he said.

“It was great to get on the scoresheet – every time you score it makes you happy. The goals were spread right across the team – it’s good that everyone’s chipping in.

“I had a good run of goals in the second half of last season so one of my aims when I came here was to get amongst the goals.”