Rangers boss Mark Warburton wants winning response against Aberdeen
By Allan Valente
Last Updated: 01/12/16 9:02am
Mark Warburton says Rangers cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves after their 2-0 defeat to Hearts and wants an instant response from his side.
The Gers host Aberdeen at Ibrox on Saturday after dropping to third in the table with the loss at Tynecastle, and are just two points ahead of the Dons who have also played two games less, and Warburton is keen to see his side up their game after the midweek defeat.
Robbie Muirhead scored twice either side of half-time against a lacklustre Rangers who thought they had equalised through Joe Dodoo, only for the goal to be disallowed by a late flag for offside. Substitute Joe Garner also had a late header cleared off the line but it was not their night.
"Any points you drop are valuable, the good thing is we get the chance to put it right on Saturday," he said. "We have to have a good response. There is no feeling sorry for yourself. We weren't good enough tonight and that is us as a group.
"Everything is together and tonight we have to recognise that, it is important sometimes. Honesty is the best policy, you can mask over it and say we should have had the offside goal and we had one cleared off the line - no.
"Tonight as a group of players we didn't think we were good enough and what we have to do is respond very positively and look forward to the game against Aberdeen."
Dodoo had the ball in the net just after the break only for referee Craig Thomson to eventually rule it out as Harry Forrester was adjudged to have blocked the view of Hearts goalkeeper Jack Hamilton while in an offside position.
However, Warburton was unhappy with the time it took to make the decision after Rangers thought they had levelled the match.
He said: "We weren't happy, I think Harry was probably offside but the fact is the goal is given, the linesman is the last man, his flag doesn't go up for 14 seconds.
"He walks five or six paces down the line - what happened to change their mind? We were bemused by that decision. It is not clutching at straws or being a sore loser, it's just that it makes it 1-1 and it is an important turning point.
"We asked the fourth official why and I got told they were deliberating the decision. In my mind, as the [match] delegate just confirmed, it is either instantaneous that he is offside or he is not."
Kenny Miller admitted Hearts did not give Rangers a chance to get into their stride and play their usual passing game.
"It was the first time since the manager came in that I felt we had to resort to going long straight away," he said. "The manager talks about finding solutions but we never found a way to play from the back.
"We couldn't get into the flow of the game and it became a battle. I accept that when you go to Tynecastle but we usually can take that out of the equation. But tonight we couldn't manage that. In terms of being up for a battle we weren't really at the races."
Miller also called for an instant reaction against Aberdeen on Saturday, acknowledging it is an important game in the race for second spot in the Scottish Premiership.
"Saturday is now huge for us and there has to be a response. We keep talking about trying to get three wins in a row and so it's back to the drawing board.
"But it's a great game, Aberdeen at home, a chance to get back right on it against one of your main rivals for second spot. It's a huge chance to get back on the horse but we'll have to play a lot better than we did tonight."