Warburton: Flak over cup defeat fuelled victory

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MARK Warburton revealed his Rangers players took out their frustrations on Morton yesterday having been stung by criticism in the wake of last Tuesday night’s League Cup defeat by St Johnstone.

Warburton believes the flak that came flying following the 3-1 defeat at Ibrox was unwarranted and has no doubt that his players were fuelled by a sense of injustice.

Mark Warburton: Players were hurting. Picture: SNS Group

Mark Warburton: Players were hurting. Picture: SNS Group

Morton were made to suffer as Rangers ran out 4-0 winners, with Martyn Waghorn grabbing a hat-trick.

Warburton said: “They were ready for today. They were riled by some of the comments, they trained really well and there was no doubt we were going to go out and start well.

“I know Jim [Duffy] would have prepared his team accordingly, but we were good in that first half hour. The players were ready for the challenge today.

“They were hurt. The criticism was a little bit disrespectful. They’ve now played 13 games and won 12. Everyone loses a game of football. We’ll learn from it. But I just thought some of the comments were a little bit over the top considering we had lost one game of football.”

Midfielder Andy Halliday confirmed that there was a real drive within the players to make amends. He said: “We had something to prove – we wanted to prove something to ourselves. We wanted to prove we can maintain a consistent level every game. That’s the demands at this football club.”

Waghorn now has 14 goals from 13 games and Warburton says there is more to come. He said: “Martyn will get better and better, he just needed to play football. The more he plays the better he’ll get.”

Morton boss Jim Duffy said: “Rangers were terrific. They had a bit of criticism after the midweek game and you could see that fired them up. They were relentless and we just had to hang on in there and work hard.”