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Mark Warburton Committed To Rangers’ Passing Play


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Fresh from fiercely defending on-loan winger Nathan Oduwa against charges of wanton showboating, Rangers manager Mark Warburton isn’t about to start apologising for the Ibrox side’s lack of aerial threat.

One of Rangers’ specialities was once attacking crosses into the box.

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Rangers' Dean Shiels on a surging run during the Ibrox side's 51 victory over Alloa at the Indrodrill stadium on Sunday. Picture:SNS

Perhaps surprisingly for those who have not seen much of the new-look Ibrox side, out of the 17 goals scored in just four outings so far this season, not one has been a header.

From a club who once boasted the aerial prowess of Mark Hateley and relied on the pin-point accuracy of wingers such as Brian Laudrup and Neil McCann, this is a departure from what has been the norm. Indeed, even more recently Ally 
McCoist appeared to be convinced the best way out of the lower leagues was to pin your hopes to a target man with a talent for headed goals, hence the signings of Kevin Kyle, Jon Daly and Kris Boyd, among others.

But not Warburton. He is more at ease with playing the ball on the ground, whatever the venue. The synthetic grass of 
Alloa’s Indodrill stadium, where Rangers triumphed 5-1 on Sunday, is a tricky surface on which to employ such tactics, with the players unaccustomed to how the speed and bounce of the ball is affected. As late summer turns to autumn, and the surfaces 
become still less kind, will Rangers persist with such a refreshing outlook?

Warburton is adamant they will. He is a keen follower of the philosophy espoused by Brian Clough, with the legendary Nottingham Forest manager once pointing out that if God wanted football played in the air, he would have put grass in the sky.

Rangers will look to continue to showcase this expansive new policy, where playing the ball to feet rather than head is the key, at Somerset Park in tomorrow’s Petrofac Training Cup-tie with Ayr United.

Warburton admitted that had he someone like Peter Crouch to call upon, then things might need to be different. “We haven’t got that but we’ve got some very talented attacking players,” he said. “Last season at Brentford we had very small players – 5ft 6in, 5ft 7in – so there was no point in throwing the ball into the box. Teams against Rangers will look to condense the area and look to defend the penalty box, so what’s the point in us throwing the ball in?

“If we’ve got good possession up to the final third, we’ve got to be better than throwing a hopeful ball in. We have to be clever, keep shifting the ball and find an opening. It was challenging on the surface [at Alloa] but I keep saying every day that we have to show patience. If we can do that, we will be alright.”

Warburton wants Oduwa to keep on entertaining, providing his flicks and feints are executed in the final third of the pitch. But he has no problem with Wes Foderingham taking a few risks, even so close to Rangers’ goal-line. He has urged his goalkeeper to continue playing the ball out from the back, even it if means some inevitable heart-in-mouth moments.

“I’m really delighted with Wes,” said Warburton. “I can’t speak highly enough of his contribution. “I see people criticising him but he’s been asked to play out from the back and get us started. I think he’s been outstanding. He’d one save yesterday from a free-kick which was his fifth save in four games.

“The stats I looked at were that Wes played out 87 per cent of the time yesterday and we got started in their half 77 per cent of the time from that. These are big numbers. Against St Mirren, it was 74 and 88 respectively. It lets us keep the ball in their half. If our keeper launches the ball and it’s a 50/ 50 battle, that’s not for us.”

While Scott Allan’s capture would only have enhanced Rangers’ claim to be an attractive, ball-playing outfit, Warburton was not prepared to become involved in a slanging match with Alan Stubbs.

The Hibs manager has suggested that Rangers made one last desperate attempt to persuade Allan to come to Ibrox prior to his move to Celtic, confirmed on Friday.

“I’m not going to lower ourselves now,” said Warburton. “I think we’re far better than that. Hopefully we have displayed the right level of professionalism throughout the whole saga.

“I’m not going to comment about another manager, far from it. But I’ve always said that I only want players here who want to play for Rangers Football Club. I have made that really clear.

“I’m guessing he [Allan] didn’t want to be at Hibs,” he added. “That’s what I’m presuming, but that’s not my business.”

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This gentleman is, for me at least, embodying the traditions that Mr Struth instilled in the club.

If we can keep hold of him for the long term, them he may very well have as significant an impact on Scottish football as Souness, if not more so.

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He certainly seems to have the ability to keep his cool, no matter what innuendo, and stupid questions are thrown at him. Good Work Mark.

I saw a 'Warburton's' van going along the road the other day there and got strangely excited. Crazy world it's becoming, with Rangers now in a relatively commanding position and only heading in the right direction. (tu)

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This gentleman is, for me at least, embodying the traditions that Mr Struth instilled in the club.

If we can keep hold of him for the long term, them he may very well have as significant an impact on Scottish football as Souness, if not more so.

I've been thinking the same myself,

I knew it was going to take a sounds like quantum leap to kickstart us again but just like the sourness era I thought cash would be required

How wrong was I,warburton has put a team on the park that's got us excited for the price of terry butcher,and that's almost 30yrs later ,

I can see other clubs try to copy our way,but in reality a lot of Scottish clubs have tried this approach for years,

Warburton a success will be unique,he is young and hungry in managerial terms but vastly experienced in life skills,skills he has picked up through his career as a normal working man,no I know a City trader isn't a normal job but he still had the Monday to Friday grind we all go through that football people never experience

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I see as mentioned by me and a few others he is out sticking up for Wes. Providing stats to back up what Wes has been told to do. Very refreshing.

Indeed.

I used to crack up at Weir, Shagger and Bell for the long punts, not only are we playing better but he's sitting there with stats on how many times the keeper has gave the ball away.

Outstanding.

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Indeed.

I used to crack up at Weir, Shagger and Bell for the long punts, not only are we playing better but he's sitting there with stats on how many times the keeper has gave the ball away.

Outstanding.

i would love to spend a day in Mark's shadow watching how he goes about his business. From what we have seen so far he is without doubt a highly functioning intelligent man, who acts with such dignity.

Cannot thank the board enough for this appointment.

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FFS, they are having a pop because of the barrel load of goals we have banged we haven't scored any headers. :lol:

Any place to find a negative buddy. Keep deflecting away from the reality that Rangers are playing tremendous football.

- Countless interviews with Foster and othrs about not recieving notice.

- No one attended the end of season party (my personal favoutite)

- 3 fans arrested at Hibs game.

- Oduwa disrespecting no-marks.

- Scott Allan hysteria

- Today? Rangers dont score headers.

The above just names a few. I said this yesterday but it is very frustrating as you honestly wonder how much of it MW can tolerate (note his comments yesterday to Oduwa 'its different up here'). I would honestly have our conferences and interviews more controlled. Get a PR guy in there who says what we will and will not take questions on, anyone who consistently breaches that is suspended from attending. It is not right he has to sit there at the mercy of a combination of morons and/or those with an agenda.

What MW has achieved in a few months is beyond remarkable. Transforming deep rooted culture is such a difficult thing to do yet we are very far down the road with it. He lost 11 players has since loaned several more out yet in approx 8 weeks and less than amillion spent we are playing arguably better football than anyone else in the country (opposition accepted) or at least the best football we have in years. The questions and headlines however are frequently as above.

Honestly the journos in this country are lucky they get any of his time. It has to stop that we can have a situation where a Alloa player starts greeting, gets absolute over the top recognition from the press to suit there own agendas and then our Manager needs to sit there and defend our player.

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i would love to spend a day in Mark's shadow watching how he goes about his business. From what we have seen so far he is without doubt a highly functioning intelligent man, who acts with such dignity.

Cannot thank the board enough for this appointment.

I know, I can mind watching the video of how Billy Davies goes about his week and being realy impressed, we seem to have someone a lot better than that now and I can't imagine him and Davie Weir being on a lot of money either.

I think in years to come we will look back on the day they were appointed and accept that that was the beginning of Rangers return to dominance.

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I don't know the rules on press conferences but I would try and cut down the stupid repetitive questions, then get Warburton to answer a few questions from Rangers TV after everyone as they have been impressive recently and Warburton has always stated he feels it's important to let the fans know what they are getting upto.

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“I’m really delighted with Wes,” said Warburton. “I can’t speak highly enough of his contribution. “I see people criticising him but he’s been asked to play out from the back and get us started. I think he’s been outstanding. He’d one save yesterday from a free-kick which was his fifth save in four games.

“The stats I looked at were that Wes played out 87 per cent of the time yesterday and we got started in their half 77 per cent of the time from that. These are big numbers. Against St Mirren, it was 74 and 88 respectively. It lets us keep the ball in their half. If our keeper launches the ball and it’s a 50/ 50 battle, that’s not for us.”

Breath of fresh air to see we are looking at stats in detail like that. A really telling stat too. He's given me a few frights but not only are we getting the ball forward quickly, we're keeping it while doing so.

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Any place to find a negative buddy. Keep deflecting away from the reality that Rangers are playing tremendous football.

- Countless interviews with Foster and othrs about not recieving notice.

- No one attended the end of season party (my personal favoutite)

- 3 fans arrested at Hibs game.

- Oduwa disrespecting no-marks.

- Scott Allan hysteria

- Today? Rangers dont score headers.

The above just names a few. I said this yesterday but it is very frustrating as you honestly wonder how much of it MW can tolerate (note his comments yesterday to Oduwa 'its different up here'). I would honestly have our conferences and interviews more controlled. Get a PR guy in there who says what we will and will not take questions on, anyone who consistently breaches that is suspended from attending. It is not right he has to sit there at the mercy of a combination of morons and/or those with an agenda.

What MW has achieved in a few months is beyond remarkable. Transforming deep rooted culture is such a difficult thing to do yet we are very far down the road with it. He lost 11 players has since loaned several more out yet in approx 8 weeks and less than amillion spent we are playing arguably better football than anyone else in the country (opposition accepted) or at least the best football we have in years. The questions and headlines however are frequently as above.

Honestly the journos in this country are lucky they get any of his time. It has to stop that we can have a situation where a Alloa player starts greeting, gets absolute over the top recognition from the press to suit there own agendas and then our Manager needs to sit there and defend our player.

MW does not need someone to wipe his arse for him. He is more than capable and will, no doubt, tell them where to go when he has had enough of heir shite.

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