Rangers 2-1 Aberdeen: Mark Warburton says players were irked before win

Lee Hodson and Kenny Miller
Lee Hodson and Kenny Miller scored in Rangers' victory

Mark Warburton said Rangers had been "more than irked" by criticism they had received before defeating Aberdeen.

The Ibrox side slipped to third in the Premiership on Wednesday after losing to Hearts but reclaimed second spot by beating the Dons 2-1.

Kenny Miller and Lee Hodson scored for Warburton's side.

"They responded really well, there was a lot of nonsense written about them and they more than answered those questions," said the manager.

"We thought they would come on and press us having seen the Wednesday game, which they did. We said 'if we have to go long early stages, go long'.

"Second half we stepped on and won second balls and I felt we deserved to win the game.

"The players were more than irked by comments made about them, by comments questioning their battling qualities and their desire. More than irked would be a polite way of putting it."

After Miller and Hodson's second-half strikes, Andrew Considine netted a late consolation for Aberdeen and both sides lost a man with Rangers' Clint Hill and Dons captain Ryan Jack each picking up two bookings.

"There was a lot of things going on on the pitch and many of them were being missed," Warburton said. "The second one, he [Hill] didn't touch him [James Maddison], he said the guy turned and no contact was made. What we can do, we will see, but he is more than frustrated."

Stockley miss 'pivotal'

Mark Warburton and Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes (right) felt Rangers scored during Aberdeen's best attacking spell

Jack's second caution followed a lengthy spell of pushing and Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes did not see what his skipper had been booked for.

The visitors may have gone ahead when Jonny Hayes crossed for Jayden Stockley but the forward headed wide moments before Miller's opener.

"It was a good stand-up from Jonny and Jayden would normally eat that type of service up, but he misses," said McInnes. "It happens but unfortunately for us it was very pivotal.

"From penalty box to penalty box I thought we were the better team.

"We really got after Rangers, we pressed them high, we were competitive, we were winning tackles, we were fully committed.

"We stopped a good team, a team who like to pass and play and move the ball and test your organisation. We really frustrated them.

"But we said to the players at half-time, it was important in the final third to carry more of a threat ourselves. We got in good areas and rushed that last wee bit.

"We had more opportunities to apply pressure with the ball rather than just without the ball, and Rangers scored when we were having our best spell.

"We started the second half really on the front foot, we passed and moved the ball well, got into good areas, still should be doing more with it, but Jayden's is clearly the one we all remember."

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