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Warburton wants to ban artificial surfaces

By Ronnie Esplin

Rangers manager Mark Warburton called for an end to artificial surfaces in the top flight as he admitted Martyn Waghorn's season could be over after picking up an injury at Rugby Park.

The Gers striker went off immediately after winning and scoring a fourth-minute penalty before the Championship leaders went on to win 2-1 in their William Hill Scottish Cup fifth-round replay on Tuesday.

As 28-goal Waghorn said he would be out for between six to eight weeks, Rangers issued a statement, part of which read: "The initial impact on an unforgiving Rugby Park surface resulted in bruising and lacerations which were immediately visible."

Killie hit back, describing criticism of their surface as "ill-informed". But Warburton stuck to his guns ahead of tomorrow's Championship clash with Queen of the South at Palmerston, which also has a plastic surface.

The Gers boss said. "There is no doubt in our minds, his injury wouldn't have been of this nature if it hadn't been for the pitch."

Asked if he did not want artificial pitches in Scottish football, he said: "Not at the highest level.

"To attract more investment, would it not be better to have a consistently high quality level of grass pitch in the Premiership?"

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