Celtic's Ronny Deila 'deserves more', says Rangers boss Mark Warburton
By Jonathon Moar
Last Updated: 05/05/16 4:46pm
Rangers manager Mark Warburton says Celtic counterpart Ronny Deila "deserves more" than the amount of criticism levelled at him in recent weeks.
The two sides meet in the Scottish Cup semi-final next month, in a game Warburton says he is not yet concentrating on, with five leagues matches scheduled before the Hampden tie.
But, speaking ahead of Rangers' Championship match with Morton on Friday, Warburton says the flank the Norwegian has been on the wrong end of is unfair.
"I have never met Ronny, I am sure he is very aware of what is involved when you take a job like Celtic or Rangers," said Warburton.
"I am not going to talk about another club's business, but I just feel sympathy that he has achieved on a number of fronts and all I hear is criticism. I think a manager like Ronny deserves more than that."
Celtic saw their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership cut to a single point by Aberdeen on Tuesday, while under 15,000 fans watched their 3-0 win over Morton in the Scottish Cup quarter-final on Sunday.
However, Warburton believes Rangers' Glasgow rivals are still on course to have a successful season.
"You set your targets at the start of the season, and one of the targets will be to win the league," he added.
"They have been at the top of the league, they are in a cup semi-final. Everything will be geared towards the European aspect of it, but again, has he had a shocking season?"
Celtic and Rangers have met just once since 2012, a 2-0 win for Deila's side in the League Cup last year.
Kenny McDowall was in charge of Rangers then, and Warburton believes Rangers are now in a far better position to compete with Celtic.
"Celtic are top of the league, they have had European competition for the last number of years and they have a squad full of international players. We are very respectful of that," the former Brentford boss told reporters.
"We are not under any illusion about the quality of Celtic. But right now, we are in good shape as well. We are performing well and doing what we have to do."
Warburton was also asked about whether top scorer Martyn Waghorn would be able to return in time for the Celtic game, but he stressed he would not rush his 27-goal striker back before he is fully fit.