Mark Warburton full of praise as Rangers bounce back from cup defeat with victory over Morton

Rangers' Martyn Waghorn scores his side's second goal of the game
Rangers' Martyn Waghorn scores his side's second goal of the game

Rangers manager Mark Warburton was full of praise for his players as they surged to a 4-0 victory over Morton on Sunday.

Martyn Waghorn netted a hat-trick and James Tavernier notched his eighth goal of the season as Rangers moved nine points clear at the top of the Ladbrokes Championship.

The teams had come into the game on contrasting cup fortunes after Rangers fell to a 3-1 home defeat by St Johnstone while Morton knocked out Motherwell after extra-time.

But the visiting players had clearly been upset by some of the analysis of their Ibrox defeat, a fact also not lost on Morton boss Jim Duffy, who saw his side go three down inside 34 minutes.

“I’m really pleased because this is a tough place to come,” Warburton said.

“Morton had a good result in mid-week, they are disciplined and well-organised and have a very experienced manager as well as some good players.

“I thought the first 25 minutes we were really good, we got a couple of goals and we were threatening. We were ready for the challenge today.

“It was important to win again – we’ve played 13 games and won 12 and that’s something we’d have taken at the start of the season. The players have worked hard, they’re in great shape physically they are strong and hungry.”

The Ibrox boss paid tribute to three-goal Martyn Waghorn.

“I had no doubts about Martyn when we bought him – he just needed to play games and I still feel there is a lot more to come from him,” Warburton added.

“He practices every single day. It’s about hard work, it’s about application, he is a proper professional and I am delighted for him.

“His second goal was clever and the penalty was clinical – he is a very talented player and in my eyes he is only going to improve.

“Everyone says he’s not a natural goal-scorer – but he’s doing all right so far.”

For midfielder Andy Halliday the key to the emphatic win was the high-tempo opening to the game as he explained.

“I thought that it was really important for us to start the match with a high intensity because it’s maybe something that we’ve lacked in the last three matches,” Halliday said.

“I thought for the first 25 minutes of the game we were excellent.

“Once we got that high intensity from the start – with all due respect – I don’t think that Morton could live with us.

“We scored three reallygood goals in the first half and the result took care of itself in the end.”