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Mark Warburton hails shooting star Joe Dodoo as Rangers hit high five

Rangers 5 Peterhead 0

By Andy Newport

Published 10/08/2016

Go Joe: Joe Dodoo celebrates scoring Rangers’ fifth goal against Peterhead at Ibrox last night
Go Joe: Joe Dodoo celebrates scoring Rangers’ fifth goal against Peterhead at Ibrox last night

Rangers boss Mark Warburton insists Joe Dodoo is good enough to fill Martyn Waghorn's shooting boots after watching the youngster grab his first Ibrox goal in the 5-0 Betfred Cup win over Peterhead.

Waghorn, last season's top scorer, sustained a hamstring injury at the weekend, but he will not get the results of the scan revealing the extent of the damage until later today.

In the meantime, Dodoo, a summer signing from Premier League champions Leicester, took the chance to impress as he fired home the fifth goal in Rangers' comfortable win on 65 minutes.

And the England Under-19 international could now find himself leading the line when Gers travel to Dundee on Saturday after Warburton stressed the 21-year-old has his complete faith.

"We never had any doubts about his quality. We knew what Joe can do, there's a lot of development from him still ahead, but we were never going to bring anyone to the club just to make up the numbers," the Light Blues manager said.

"If they add to our value then we will take them, but we are never going to add to our squad just for numbers."

Niko Kranjcar answered some of the critics who have been quick to question his fitness levels after Saturday's frustrating 1-1 draw with Hamilton when he fired home a sensational opener against Jim McInally's League One minnows after 18 minutes.

The Croatian then set up two goals for defender Clint Hill either side of the half-time break with his pin-point corner deliveries.

Michael O'Halloran's low cross was turned into the net by Blue Toon defender Fiarce Kelleher shortly after the break while Dodoo sealed the drubbing which sends Gers into today's draw for the quarter-finals with his low strike 25 minutes from time.

"Niko is working really hard," said Warburton. "I think a few people's comments stung him, if I'm honest, because he is working hard.

"I don't think he's been challenged for a long period of time. So to get back to where he needs to get to is through hard work and he's putting the work in, there's no doubt about his quality and you'll see the best of Niko very soon I'm sure."

Warburton hinted he was hopeful of tying up a move for a fresh recruit before the weekend.

But he shot down reports linking Rangers with a loan move for Newcastle youngster Adam Armstrong, saying: "Not for us. He's a very talented player, but he's not coming to Rangers.

"If we took everyone we are linked to we would have a squad of 75 players. He's a very talented player, I know how well he did at Coventry, but there's no truth in that rumour."

Rangers: Gilks, Tavernier, Hill, Kiernan, Hodson; Rossiter (Halliday, 61 mins), Barton (Holt, 62 mins), Kranjcar (McKay, 62 mins), O'Halloran, Dodoo, Forrester. Unused subs: Foderingham, Miller, Bates.

Peterhead: Smith, Strachan (McIntosh, 53 mins), Noble, Ross, Rumsby, Kelleher, Stevenson (Riley, 53 mins), Redman (Nassor, 61 mins), McAllister, Ferry, Blockley. Unused subs: R Hobday, Brown, Dzierzawski, Samuels.

Man of the Match: Clint Hill

Match rating: 7/10.

Referee: Andrew Dallas (Scotland).

Belfast Telegraph

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