Rangers manager Mark Warburton offered a damning assessment of his side after their 1-0 defeat by Livingston last night – and refused to accept lack of motivation could have played a part.
The Ibrox club have taken only one point from their past three league games, defeats by Hibernian and Livingston sandwiching a draw at home to Alloa. Warburton would have no truck with the notion that the current comedown was inevitable after the previous highs of winning the Championship and the Petrofac Training Cup and beating Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final.
“It’s too easy to say that, you can say that after the Celtic game because of the draining nature of the game at Hampden,” he said. “You could use that as an excuse before, that it wasn’t really us. But there’s no excuse today because we started the game brightly but after that we were way below our level.
“There’s no excuses, not just the players, the staff in general and we have to look at ourselves because that’s not Rangers. Every time you put a blue jersey on it has to be a big game for you and that was game one of our lead into the cup final. We have two more games planned so you will see a reaction to it. We have 24 days to get it right, which we will do, but we have to learn from that.”
Livingston manager David Hopkin praised a side whose ages ranged from 16 – the highly-rated prospect Matthew Knox, who the manager said he will “fight tooth and nail” to keep – to 24.
“I’m delighted and I think we could have had another couple of goals,” said Hopkin, whose side face a Championship play-off semi-final in a week’s time. “We have lost games after being 1-0 up recently so playing like that will give us confidence.”