Mark Warburton hails Rangers players energy levels after win over Motherwell

Rangers' James Tavernier celebrates scoring against Motherwell
Rangers' James Tavernier celebrates scoring against Motherwell
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Rangers manager Mark Warburton praised his team’s energy levels after they overcame a shaky start to beat Motherwell 2-0 in the Betfred Cup.

Motherwell had six good first-half chances but Rangers gradually began to turn their possession into opportunities and went ahead three minutes after the break when James Tavernier found the top corner from 16 yards.

Rangers remained on top, although Motherwell had several chances to level, and Martyn Waghorn curled home the clincher from 18 yards in injury time.

Warburton, who hopes to include Joe Dodoo against Annan on Tuesday if his move from Leicester is completed, said: “I’ll take 12 minutes of rustiness but I thought we dominated the game after the 15th minute and, in truth, we should have been further ahead.

“Considering it was our first competitive game, we lost out on a few one v ones and gave the ball away cheaply early on but after that it was a very pleasing afternoon’s work.

“I thought our energy levels were really good and you must remember that most of our players have only had 45 minutes’ game time against Charleston Battery.

“But we dominated possession, created chances and looked sharp. I’m really pleased.

“I’ll look at the game again because we could have been one or two down at the start and we should have stopped their chances.

“But then we took care of the football and won the one v ones, got tighter in key areas and, from the 15th to the 90th minute, there was only one team in it.”

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee bemoaned his side’s missed chances, with Marvin Johnson, Lionel Ainsworth, Scott McDonald and Chris Cadden all coming close before the break.

“As far as we are concerned we made enough chances to at least get to penalty-kicks,” he said.

“Rangers play different to us, they have a lot more possession, but we know that and we were comfortable with that. In between them having possession, we made the best chances but didn’t take them.

“And I think that reflects the fact that it’s only two weeks into pre-season training and people like Marvin and Scott McDonald will get sharper.”