Mark Warburton: Rangers scouts deserve credit for signings

Mark Warburton has tipped his latest recruits to have a big impact. Picture: SNSMark Warburton has tipped his latest recruits to have a big impact. Picture: SNS
Mark Warburton has tipped his latest recruits to have a big impact. Picture: SNS

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Mark Warburton believes Josh Windass has already proved Rangers were right to gamble on his signature.

The Ibrox boss raised eyebrows earlier this year when he decided to bring the Accrington playmaker north on a pre-contract.

Some members of the Light Blues faithful were unimpressed by the signing of a player from England’s fourth tier who they knew next to nothing about.

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However, Warburton reckons the 22-year-old son of former Aberdeen striker Dean has hushed his detractors after just his first two Gers outings.

Windass made an immediate impression on his debut against Motherwell last Saturday with his driving runs and was equally as impressive against part-timers Annan at Ibrox on Tuesday.

Now he has been tipped to match the impact made by the other previously unknown recruits who took Rangers to the Ladbrokes Championship title last term.

Warburton said: “If you look back at last season, not many fans would have heard of Tav (James Tavernier), Waggy (Martyn Waghorn), Rob Kiernan or Wes Foderingham before they came here.

“But they came and made an impression. So I think you have to give credit to our scouting department in terms of looking at our young talents.

“Josh has already shown his quality. He’s got a change of pace, a dynamism in the final third and he’s clever on the ball.

“So with him, I think you will see another young player - just as you will with Joe Dodoo and Jordan Rossiter - pushing really hard.

“They haven’t come here to make up the numbers. Josh is a really exciting talent. We’re delighted with his progress so far. It’s early days and he knows what he has to do but we believe there is a real player there.”

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Warburton will give the club’s travelling support a first look at another of his summer additions on Friday night when Rangers continue their Betfred Cup campaign away to East Stirlingshire.

Former Leicester strike Joe Dodoo will start against the Lowland League outfit and his new manager has reassured the 21-year-old he will get plenty more opportunity to show what he is capable of in the coming months.

Warburton - who will make a number of changes to his side at Ochilview after the 2-0 win over Annan - said: “Joe is a young player with lots of qualities, lots of attributes, and if he trains well and makes an impression he will get his chance.

“That has to be the case. There is no pre-agendas. If a player comes in and works hard and delivers in training, they will get their opportunity.

“We’ve lost eight players and brought in nine - with maybe a couple more to come in - but there still has to be a pathway to the first-team.”

On top of those new arrivals, Warburton has moved swiftly to tie up the players who led the club back to the top-flight after handing deals to skipper Lee Wallace, Kiernan and Foderingham.

Tavernier and Waghorn are expected to follow suit shortly and even if Warburton fails to land the extra striker and centre-back he is looking for, he says his recent business has been more than satisfactory.

He said: “So far it’s been an outstanding summer in terms of getting that balance right.

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“We’re looking for that depth, that quality, that spark we may currently lack. But we’re delighted. The players are starting to gel and the fitness levels are starting to fall into place.

“What we won’t do is just add numbers for numbers sake. They have to have something we don’t currently possess.”

Meanwhile, Warburton has confirmed Windass’ former Accrington team-mate Matt Crooks is still three weeks away from returning to action after ankle trouble.