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Warburton vows not to let goal hero Waghorn leave on cheap

By Andy Newport

Mark Warburton has promised the Ibrox support that Rangers will demand top dollar for Martyn Waghorn if the striker decides his future lies elsewhere.

The Gers frontman - who struck both goals as the Light Blues overcame Hamilton 2-1 at the SuperSeal Stadium - has 18 months left on his contract.

But he has turned down the offer of an extension and Bristol City and Fulham are reported to be considering a January swoop.

Boss Warburton has not given up hope of persuading the former Wigan striker to commit himself for longer, but insists Rangers will not be selling the 26-year-old on the cheap.

He said: "I don't want to lose any of my players, but we're realistic. We know full well that if certain bids come in and players get their heads turned, (they could go). That's the nature of the game.

"All we can say is that we don't want to lose anyone and, if we do, we lose them on our terms. That's our promise to the supporters.

"Talks are ongoing with all the players. That's how it has to be. It's an ongoing dialogue. It's like any workforce. It's keeping your workers happy and chatting to them and being honest.

"If we can do that and create that environment we'll be okay.

"I think Martyn enjoys playing for Rangers. He's a top professional, his family are settled and Martyn, as all the other players are, is wanted here at Rangers. Long may that continue."

Waghorn opened his Ladbrokes Premiership account on the opening day of the season against Accies, but hamstring troubles and a dip in form mean he has struggled in front of goal in the four months since.

But, making his first start since October, he looked like the man who hit 28 goals last term.

He first headed home from a Jason Holt cutback a minute before half-time, then slotted clinically past Martin Woods in the second half after the impressive Barrie McKay linked up with skipper Lee Wallace.

Gers switched off in the final 15 minutes and were lucky only to concede a Dougie Imrie goal, but held on to register three straight top-flight wins for the first time this season.

Warburton, though, is refusing to get carried away.

"We are just going one game at a time," he said. "We have spoken about sample size. We had a lot of new players coming in at the start of the season.

"Joe Garner was a waste of money three weeks ago and now they are chanting his name. So give the boys time to settle in and gel. They are doing that.

"Waggy came back, he has been patient and he showed how good he can be."

Accies boss Martin Canning said: "The second goal was crucial. There wasn't a lot in the first half but they got the goal on half-time. The last 10 minutes I thought we were on the front foot, but it wasn't to be."

Belfast Telegraph


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