Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football Scottish Rangers

Rangers boss Mark Warburton eager to right a few wrongs against Hearts

By Andy Newport

Mark Warburton is looking for Rangers to show their real form when they return to Tynecastle tonight.

A 2-0 defeat by Hearts in November, in what was Robbie Neilson's last match in charge of the Jambos before Ian Cathro took over as head coach, saw the home side leapfrog the Ibrox club into second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

The Light Blues rallied and have lost only once in eight games since - to rivals Celtic - to regain second spot behind the Parkhead club, who are runaway league leaders.

Warburton, whose side won 2-0 win against Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday, put their last Tynecastle trip down to "a bad day at the office" as he looks to continue their good form.

He said: "We said straight away 'no excuses'. The important thing was how we responded and we responded outstandingly well, beating Aberdeen, beating Hearts etc with very good performances and a good run of games.

"We go into the game on the back of a very good performance (at Motherwell), the second half especially, and we have to take that belief into the game, recognise the challenge and deliver the performance.

"We are getting towards the business end of the season and we have to keep pushing."

Warburton knows it could be a vastly different Hearts side to the one which hosted the Gers in November as Cathro has brought in nine new players during January.

He said: "We are not sure what team we'll face. But we know they will be well organised by Ian and Austin (MacPhee, assistant) and we have to expect a very tough challenge.

"But it is about us, if we can go there and deliver a performance we will be fine."

Warburton is looking for his latest signing, goalkeeper Jak Alnwick, to challenge Wes Foderingham for the No.1 spot.

He recruited the 23-year-old from Port Vale in a three and a half year deal on Monday with Matt Gilks moving to Wigan.

Alnwick is Rangers' third signing of the January window after Jon Toral and Emerson Hyndman signed loan deals from Arsenal and Bournemouth respectively.

Warburton said: "He has got to challenge. If a keeper comes in with a No.2 mentality you are in a weaker position.

"Wes has been outstanding. Matt had a No.1 mentality and Jak has to be the same."

Alnwick, who started his career at Newcastle, promised Foderingham a challenge, saying "I have confidence and I will push him" and insisted he did not need to take any counsel when he heard Rangers were interested in him.

Alnwick said: "I have known about them for so long, as a young kid you knew about Rangers and I knew I wanted to come here from the minute I found out.

"It is an unbelievable club. As soon you hear the name Rangers - it was a no-brainer."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph