Mark Warburton: We have to get back to being Rangers

Rangers have won only twice in their first five league games. Picture: SNS
Rangers have won only twice in their first five league games. Picture: SNS
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Rangers manager Mark Warburton has told his team they must be more like themselves as they look to bounce back from their Celtic Park thrashing.

Warburton felt his side lost their identity as they fell to a 5-1 derby defeat to Celtic and wants normal service resumed in their next Ladbrokes Premiership encounter, against Ross County on Saturday.

The Englishman told Rangers TV: “Ross County are a very strong team who had an excellent season last year. Jim (McIntyre) has done a great job there, and they are a team who are just behind us in the table.

“We are well aware of that, and I repeat myself every week, but we will do our preparation and the analysis has started.

“(Head of analysis) Neil McIlhargey and his team are doing their work, but more than ever now, we have to respond on Saturday as Rangers.

“We weren’t Rangers against Celtic in terms of being on the front foot and being positive, so that’s what we have to show at Ibrox on Saturday, and again on Tuesday in the (Betfred Cup) quarter-final (against Queen of the South).

“We always talk about performance being absolutely key, and the result follows. If you get the performance right - if you play together, work together and stay together in everything you do, move the ball quickly, play one or two touch stuff and penetrate, then the result naturally follows.

“If we do what we do well, the result always follows. That’s what we have to focus on - we have to focus on giving our supporters a good performance and one that they enjoy.

“They enjoy the tempo of our play, the desire of our play, the rotation and movement of our players within the system, and if we do that, then we will be all right.”

Rangers could face problems filling their central defence at Ibrox on Saturday with the defeat by Celtic proving even more costly as Philippe Senderos was sent off on his debut while Rob Kiernan limped off. Danny Wilson missed the game with a calf strain, leaving Clint Hill as the only fully-fit experienced centre-back.

Warburton said: “Philippe will obviously be suspended, Rob we will look at as he obviously came off last week with a damaged ankle, so we will need to see how that responds and fingers crossed that will be well.

“Danny Wilson has been out running this week and has done some light ball work, so that is positive.

“We welcomed back Matt Crooks to full training this week which was nice to see, Joe Dodoo will be back in the full group this week, and again, great work by the team to get him back, so we are starting to get the bodies back, it’s the nature of the league that we have had a few injuries and it’s nice to have the choices.”

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