Rangers manager Mark Warburton happy to avoid 'awful scenario'

By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland
Rangers manager Mark Warburton still has a 100% record since taking charge
Rangers manager Mark Warburton still has a 100% record since taking charge

Rangers manager Mark Warburton said that he was not tempted to seek any additional signings on the final day of the transfer window.

He has recruited 11 players since taking over in the summer, although 16 left at the end of last season.

Warburton is happy with the size of his squad, saying any more would create an "awful scenario".

"The worst thing you can do is take numbers for numbers' sake and add bodies just in case," he said.

Warburton added: "That's an awful scenario: to have four, five, six players not being involved with the first team on a Friday. All that creates is upset, resentment, so we have a tight, lean squad.

"Yes, we're vulnerable to a spate of injuries, but we work hard, the medical team, etc, and if we have a problem we dip into the academy squad.

"Craig [Mulholland, the academy director] and his team are doing an excellent job, the likes of Tom Walsh, Fraser Aird, Barrie McKay, Ryan Hardie, will do a job for us.

"If we'd needed more players, we'd have got more players. There's no lack of support for what we needed.

"There are some really good people here, players and staff, and if we have an injury I have no problem with playing Ryan Hardie, Tom Walsh, Fraser Aird. They've had a great academy education and they're ready to do a job."

Rangers are one of only two clubs, along with Aberdeen, to still boast a 100% record in domestic football this season.

Warburton admitted that the team has progressed more quickly than he anticipated.

"We talked about adding character and value on and off the pitch and we're really happy with the business we've done securing players," he said.

"The unity's good and the squad's in a good place right now.

"From the first day they embraced new ideas, their work ethic, their application has been first-class.

"Maybe in two tiny spells we've dipped in standards, but the players knew right away and corrected it during the session."

Rangers' Barrie McKay
Rangers winger Barrie McKay has shined under Mark Warburton

Rangers host Raith Rovers in the Championship on Saturday, with Warburton warning that visitors to Ibrox can be inspired by the surroundings but also play with a freedom that comes from not carrying any expectations into the game.

He also urged McKay to add that level of consistency to his game, with the 20-year-old having impressed in the early games of this campaign.

"He's been outstanding," said Warburton. "From the first day of pre-season Barrie has worked hard, applied himself, taken to new ideas.

"He's worked hard on his pitch geography and end product. His consistency is the key now. He's shown what he can deliver. I've no doubt he'll be a huge player for Rangers."

McKay spent time at Raith Rovers on loan last season, having failed to hold down a first-team place at Ibrox after injury and loss of form. He seems a rejuvenated player now, which he believes is due to confidence from the manager but also a new-found appreciation of the opportunity he has at Ibrox.

"The manager's put a lot of confidence in me," said McKay. "The confidence comes with every player playing well.

"I don't feel that I need to prove myself every game, if I though that I'd start making mistakes.

"But I've seen a different side to football and that helped me coming back here. This is where you want to be playing. Going out on loan helped me see how lucky I was with what I had here."

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