Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football Scottish Rangers

Mark Warburton sure Rangers past errors will not be repeated

By Robert Jones

Rangers need to sign four or five players to be competitive in their first season back in the Scottish Premiership but will not repeat the mistakes of the past and spend money they have not got, manager Mark Warburton insists.

Rangers, the 54-time top-flight champions, won promotion back to the big time on Tuesday when they beat Dumbarton 1-0 at Ibrox to clinch the Championship title.

That ended their four-year exile from the elite, which began after their financial meltdown and liquidation in 2012 when they were demoted to the basement of the Scottish game.

Warburton said that there is a far greater sense of realism at the club now although they were relishing the prospect of next season's competition.

"We are building a young squad and we have achieved the first goal which was getting the club back into the top-flight," he said. "There is a lot of work to be done, we have to be honest.

"We need four or five new players to come in and we are going to lose a couple. It's all about the quality of recruitment and if we can get that right we will be OK.

"But it would not be right for us as the management to go to the board with unrealistic targets.

"The worst thing we can do is just go and spend money poorly, recruit poorly and put the club back two or three pages. We will not do that."

With Rangers back in the top-flight, their regular Old Firm matches against Glasgow rivals Celtic will resume, although the two are set to meet in a Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park on April 17. The two old foes, who have played each other 304 times in league matches since 1891, have met only once since Rangers were demoted, with Celtic winning a League Cup semi-final 2-0 last season.

Warburton is relishing the meeting with Celtic but added: "We must not lose sight of the fact Celtic have had four or five years of Champions League football and have a squad packed with international players.

"Our job is to recognise where we are and what we have to do to close that gap."

Meanwhile, on-loan Rangers defender Dominic Ball has targeted a triple trophy haul to end his season with the club.

Warburton's side will face Peterhead in the Petrofac Training Cup final at Hampden Park on Sunday before returning to the national stadium the following week for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic.

Ball, on a season-long loan from Tottenham, said: "It would be brilliant, that is what I want to get, three trophies. It's not bad for your second loan at 20-years-old.

"I think that would help me push on massively and it's massive for the club as well, the lads would deserve it, so we will see what happens."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph