Rangers manager Mark Warburton admitted his players could have no complaints about the jeers from their own support which greeted them at the end of their 1-1 draw against St Johnstone at Ibrox last night.
Warburton’s side have now dropped six points from their five home Premiership fixtures this season and remain fifth in the table, a distant nine points adrift of champions Celtic who have played a game fewer.
Blair Alston gave Saints a fifth-minute lead which was cancelled out by Joe Garner’s header eight minutes before the break. But a poor second- half display from Rangers earned them the unequivocal vocal disapproval of the home fans.
“That’s part of playing for Rangers,” said Warburton. “People ask about the expectations. It’s a demanding crowd here because they’re used to success.
“The players have to recognise it’s an expectant crowd – and quite rightly. We have to respect that and learn from that tonight. We know what the crowd wants, they’re magnificent. If we can play our game and move the ball quickly, we’ll create chances but we fell below our standards tonight.
“It wasn’t a good second half. It was an opportunity missed tonight. It was a decent first half but we didn’t continue that and we gave the ball away cheaply. It was frustrating for all of us. Damage was done because we expected to take three points.”
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright was gratified by a result which lifts his team into third place in the Premiership table but understandably also felt some frustration that their performance did not bring an even greater reward on the night. “It was a good start for us with the early goal,” said Wright.
“Overall, it was an excellent performance from us and we are slightly disappointed we didn’t get all three points.
“Particularly with the second-half showing, where we hit the woodwork a couple of times and had a few good chances. So I’m pleased with the performance. It’s never easy coming here. I’m happy with a point but we could have got all three.
“We knew we’d stay above Rangers with a positive result. We’re content with the return and our position in the league so far but there are no prizes given out at this stage of the season, so we’re not going to get carried away with it.”