Mark Warburton rejects Houston’s referee claims

Mark Warburton and Peter Houston at Ibrox. Rangers won 3-1 but Falkirk boss Houston wasn't happy with the referee. Picture: Kirk O'Rourke

Mark Warburton and Peter Houston at Ibrox. Rangers won 3-1 but Falkirk boss Houston wasn't happy with the referee. Picture: Kirk O'Rourke

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RANGERS manager Mark Warburton has dismissed suggestions that referee John McKendrick favoured his team in the second half of their victory over Falkirk on Saturday.

Falkirk boss Peter Houston was angry with the award of a free-kick for Tom Taiwo’s challenge on Nicky Law, which allowed James Tavernier to put Rangers in the lead in the 81st minute.

Houston highlighted the fact that the Rangers backroom staff were “having a right pop” at McKendrick at half-time about “giving them nothing” and added: ‘’He certainly gave them something in the second half.”

But Warburton put those comments down to the emotions surrounding the top-of-the-table Ladbrokes Championship clash.

He said: “As Rangers manager I look at the Tavernier incident in the first half and say that’s a penalty. There were one or two bad challenges all over the park.

“I think Peter was obviously upset that they conceded a late goal from a free-kick.

I think Peter [Houston] was obviously upset that they conceded a late goal from a free-kick

Mark Warburton

“But it’s 50-50 and the call went our way. Very often it works the other way as well. It’s the game.”

When asked if Houston had over-reacted, Warburton said: “Football is a passionate game. Emotions run high, especially immediately after the final whistle.

“They worked very, very hard, they were well organised and they are a very good quality team. He must have been frustrated to lose a goal in the 80th minute. It’s an emotional game, no more than that.”

Warburton was speaking after collecting the Championship manager of the month award after leading Rangers to nine consecutive league wins, a run which led to him being listed as a 20/1 shot to be named the next Liverpool manager with one bookmaker.

Warburton said: “It’s always flattering to anyone to be linked to a job, especially a club of Liverpool’s size, but we’re at a big club here as well and we have a job of work to do and we are very committed to Rangers.

“We are focused here, we know what we have to do. The targets for the year are very clear. We are a quarter of the way through and so far, so good.”

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