Mark Warburton insists Rangers can improve

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RANGERS manager Mark Warburton believes his team still have significant scope for improvement after they made it three wins out of three under his guidance last night.

Warburton’s team opened their Scottish Championship campaign with a 3-1 win over St Mirren at Ibrox, building on the momentum created by cup victories over Hibs at Peterhead.

Dean Shiels (22) celebrates Rangers' thrid. Picture: SNS

Dean Shiels (22) celebrates Rangers' thrid. Picture: SNS

After racing into a 2-0 lead with a double from captain Lee Wallace, Rangers had to endure a nervy second half which saw St Mirren skipper Steven Thompson miss the chance to make it 2-2 from the penalty spot.

“The result is obviously pleasing,” said Warburton. “We dominated possession but we need to recognise that we have to be more clinical. We had chance after chance in the second half but didn’t take them. St Mirren broke a few times and we were loose. They missed a penalty and these are the fine margins. It could have been a different game. I thought we deserved the win, but we have to take our chances.

“But we are only six weeks into this. We met for the first time on 27 June. We are far from the finished article. There is a lot more to come from this group.

“Their work ethic and ability will get better and better. It’s just about bedding in. But they have been first class to work with and deserved the victory tonight. We have things to improve upon but we are in good shape. We have come through with three victories now and we look forward to the next game.

“Lee Wallace was magnificent. He was outstanding. It was a first-class performance. Lee has been that way from the first day of training. He was frustrated with himself for not scoring a couple last week but got his rewards tonight. I thought it was a first-class left-back performance.

“You have to have leaders on the pitch. Lee is focused and he is driven. He leads by example and that’s important. The same could be said for Danny Wilson, Rob Kiernan, Andy Halliday and all the guys. You need guys who take responsibility on the pitch and I think we have those players now. Going forward, I think we’ll be in good shape.”

St Mirren manager Ian Murray was heartened by his team’s display and felt key moments in the game went against them.

“We struggled in the first 25 minutes,” admitted Murray. “Everything we thought would happen, did happen, in terms of the crowd being up for it and Rangers came out of the traps. We conceded an early goal, which we thought was a clear foul on our player, but it’s still a goal. After that, I thought our players were excellent and we showed our character, especially after going two down in 25 minutes.

“We scored a really good goal but a huge point was the penalty. We’ve missed it and these things happen but if we scored that, who knows?

“It was a huge blow on the sidelines because we felt we hadn’t played to our potential but if we’d got to 2-2, we felt we had the players on the bench who could win the game.

“Steven has scored so many goals for the club and he’ll be as disappointed as anyone. We have got stuff to brush up on but I think we showed tonight that we are not going to be too far away.”