In his first comments on the Scottish Cup final, Mark Warburton yesterday chose to restrict himself largely to the outcome of the game – which saw his Rangers side lose 3-2 to Hibernian, writes Andrew Smith.
The pitch invasion by Hibs fans and alleged attacks on Rangers players saw Warburton and his squad hurried out of the stadium. The manager felt this was the right course of action. He said: “I thought Rangers acted tremendously well, very professionally. There’s police cases going on so I can’t really comment but I was very pleased with the way the club looked after the staff.”
He admitted the game had been a let-down. “It was disappointing to finish a good season on that note,” said Warburton, whose side won the Championship. “It was just a game too far in terms of the depth of our squad in terms of what we had on the bench. The papers spoke about me making a statement [in only naming five substitutes]. There was no statement. That is all we had because of the loan system. When we send players out on loan we send them out for their long-term development. But by the rules, we can’t then recall them and play them.”
It meants players such as Ryan Hardie, Jordan Thompson, Tom Walsh, Liam Kelly were unable to take part.