Rangers '˜still aim to be challenging at the top'

Danny Wilson insists Rangers have not altered their ambitions for their season despite slipping into the bottom half of the Ladbrokes Premiership after a nightmare start to the campaign.
Danny Wilson trudges off after Rangers' loss to Aberdeen. Picture: SNSDanny Wilson trudges off after Rangers' loss to Aberdeen. Picture: SNS
Danny Wilson trudges off after Rangers' loss to Aberdeen. Picture: SNS

The Gers faithful expected their team to put up a fight for Celtic’s crown as they made their long-awaited return to the top flight.

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But ahead of Saturday’s clash with Partick Thistle, the Light Blues now find themselves languishing in seventh place after managing just two wins from seven games.

Brendan Rodgers’ rampant leaders are already seven points ahead with a game in hand but defender Wilson shot down suggestions that Rangers might have to rein in their expectations for the rest of the campaign as they struggle to get to grips with life in Scotland’s top division.

The former Liverpool and Hearts centre-back said: “We won’t change our ambitions because of a couple of bad results or a slow start to the season because we need to be challenging near the top.

“We’ll go into Saturday’s game looking for three points and we know we need to start moving up the table because where we are is not where we want to be.

“Had we won the game at Aberdeen at the weekend we would have been second but as it happens we are down to seventh - but I wouldn’t read too much into that right now.

“It’s still fairly tight from second downwards so we need to get ourselves back up there and challenge at the right end of the table.

“If you put the performances in the points will come but in saying that we have played very well and maybe not got what we fully deserved from the game.

“That is how football works sometimes, we are not just going to go back to basics and start doing things that aren’t what we do.”

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Rangers manager Mark Warburton has confessed already this season he has found it difficult nailing down a consistent line-up.

He was hopeful he had found a solution for a defence that has leaked 11 goals in just seven league games this season, though, when Wilson and former QPR veteran Clint Hill combined to produce back-to-back clean sheets against Ross County and Queen of the South.

But there were worrying signs when Aberdeen were allowed to grab the opener in their 2-1 Pittodrie win last weekend with nothing more sophisticated than a long punt up the field from goalkeeper Joe Lewis.

Wilson admits his side need to improve defensively but he does not see a fundamental flaw in Warburton’s attacking philosophy.

The 24-year-old said: “We’ve done a lot of analysis and a lot of the times we have been punished have come when we have the ball, so that is something we need to brush up on - but we need to do that as a collective, not just as a defence.

“Some of the goals we have conceded have been fairly sloppy but it’s one of those things which gets blown up in a way when you play for this club.

“We are a team which tries to control the game and if that means we have a lot of the ball then we are going to be high up the pitch.

“Maybe then the long ball in behind us might cause a few problems but we’re working to try and eradicate that from our game.

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“We aren’t going to change the style of play, we like to try and control the game. We know why we do that, we want to be on the ball and constantly probing and sometimes that might mean we let the odd chance in and we concede a goal.”