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Rangers must respond to Dumbarton elements, says Mark Warburton

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has a near fully-fit squad to choose from ahead of their trip to Airdrie.
Image: Rangers manager Mark Warburton is expecting a tough match at Dumbarton

Rangers manager Mark Warburton says his team will have to adapt to playing in tough conditions when they travel to face Dumbarton on Saturday.

The Scottish Championship leaders take their 100 per cent record to the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium, where the pitch lies exposed to the elements between the Rock of Dumbarton and the Firth of Clyde, save for one stand.

Warburton visited the ground during the summer and found it to be a chilly experience then, so is not expecting an easy afternoon for his players this weekend.

"I went there in August to watch our U20s play and I turned round to see Walter Smith wearing a coat and a scarf and gloves, in August, so I knew there was an issue. And it was cold by the way," Warburton said.

Dumbarton Rock overlooks the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium.
Image: Dumbarton Rock overlooks the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium

"But it's another challenge for us. It's a different type of ground. This is a good grass pitch, a big pitch which suits us, but it's three exposed sides to the ground and we have to deal with the wind and the conditions on the day. It's another challenge to us.

"They will be more used to it and we have to respond to it and if we don't respond to it we will get hurt."

Rangers' Lee Wallace (left) celebrates after putting his side 1-0 up
Image: Rangers have won six games out of six in the Scottish Championship so far

Meanwhile, Warburton revealed that Cammy Bell is nearing a return after missing the start of the season with a knee problem.

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The goalkeeper also sat out much of last term following a shoulder injury.

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"He has sometimes got a niggle which is bothering him, he is getting some specialist advice on Monday, but he is very close now," Warburton said on Thursday.

"He has been out working with Jim [Stewart, goalkeeping coach] this morning, which is great to see and it will be nice to welcome Cammy back."

Cammy Bell is still injured for Rangers.
Image: Cammy Bell faces a fight to regain his place in the Rangers team

However, Bell will have to fight to regain his place from summer signing Wes Foderingham.

"Cammy knows how it works," Warburton said. "Liam Kelly has trained really well and is on the bench every week. You have to fight to get your shirt back.

"Wes has been first class, Liam has been excellent as his deputy. Cammy knows what he has to do, I'm sure he expects that and relishes it."

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