Rangers boss Mark Warburton backs side to bounce back after Hearts howler
Rangers boss Mark Warburton has told his players to learn quickly from their defeat by Hearts - but he dismissed concerns over their form against last season's top three Ladbrokes Premiership teams.
Warburton's side have now lost against Celtic, Aberdeen and Hearts this season and have a pressing need to improve that form ahead of consecutive visits from the last two.
But the Englishman put Wednesday's 2-0 loss at Tynecastle down to a "bad day at the office" and backed his players to bounce back against the Dons today.
"I hear this but then Hearts were losing 3-1 to Hamilton," he said. "It's three points. That's no disrespect to Hamilton, by the way - far from it. They are a tough team to beat.
"But the fact is it's a tough division and points don't come easy. Yes, you may beat two teams around you but if you lose the next four games against teams lower than you, it's irrelevant. Dropping points hurts, especially at a club like Rangers."
The Rangers players had a lively debate on Thursday morning to dissect their limp display against Hearts, who triumphed thanks to two goals from left winger Robbie Muirhead. And Warburton believes they can do much better when faced with a team who press them high up the park, as Hearts did to good effect.
"We have to get better and learn," Warburton said. "We didn't do what we do well. We didn't get on the ball, we didn't get started.
"We knew Hearts would press. We felt beforehand that would be the tactics - they did it well and they were brave. But we had to be braver, and we had to find solutions to get out.
"And sometimes you have to beat the press by going long, and trust yourself to go long in a cultured manner."
However, Warburton believes there is no lack of belief amongst his players.
"We are still gelling as a squad but there are no excuses, on Wednesday night we weren't good enough," he said. "We now have a chance to be much better on Saturday."
Rangers have now scored the first goal in just six out of 15 Premiership matches but Warburton does not feel there is a specific problem in how they start games.
"We have started a number of games very well and gone in front in a number of games as well, it's 50-50," he said.