Rangers boss Mark Warburton upbeat despite losing first league game of season

Rangers' Martyn Waghorn and Hibernian's Fraser Fyvie have to be pulled apart by referee John Beaton
Rangers' Martyn Waghorn and Hibernian's Fraser Fyvie have to be pulled apart by referee John Beaton

Mark Warburton suffered his first League defeat of the season in Edinburgh on Sunday afternoon – but the Ibrox boss remained positive and left no-one in any doubt that he felt his side deserved to take something from the game.

“We had 65% possession during the 90 minutes,” he said.

“We were tentative during the first 15 minutes. They scored a good goal – it was a good strike but we failed to get out quickly enough.

“We dominated possession during the first-half but were too hesitant going forward.

“We should have had a penalty in the first-half. Whether it’s the first minute or the 91st minute if it’s a penalty it’s a penalty…I knew from the reaction of my players that there was no doubt it was a penalty – but I’m not going to cry over spilt milk.

“We told them at half-time to be more purposeful. We got the early goal and then there was only one team in it.

“We hit the bar, we hit the post, we had one cleared off the line – but we’ve got to take our chances. I thought we were very good – we created chance after chance and I thought we were by far the better team in the second-half.

“We should have put the game beyond doubt. There was only one team in it but we failed to defend a set-piece. We’ll play a lot worse and get all three points – there’s no doubt about that.”

The Rangers manager explained his decision to play 3-5-2 for the first time since arriving at Ibrox during the summer.

“This is a tough venue against a good quality opponent. We played three at the back for the first time.

“We wanted to keep the ball rather than give it away but we needed a little more up front.”

Warburton was determined to remain positive despite the setback.

“If you lose following a poor performance then you don’t deserve anything – but we played well and there’s real frustration and anger in the dressing-room at the result.”

There was also an emphasis on putting the defeat into some kind of perspective.

“We’ve played 12 League games, lost one, and are five points clear. I think at the start of the season we would have taken that.”

Meanwhile Ibrox captain Lee Wallace echoed the thoughts of his manager.

“It’s a disappointment but we realise that every great team loses games and it’s all about how you respond.

“We will come back strong from this.”