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Leagues: Scottish Premiership

Rangers starting to gel in Scottish Premiership – Warburton

Glasgow (AFP) – Rangers manager Mark Warburton says his team is finally starting to click after seeing them defeat Hearts 2-0 at Ibrox on Saturday.

A goal in each half for Rob Kiernan and Barrie McKay allowed Rangers to gain revenge for a 2-0 defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle just 10 days ago as they strengthened their grip on second place in the Scottish Premiership table.

Warburton, whose side defeated Aberdeen 2-1 last weekend, have now racked up back-to-back victories over their nearest rivals for second spot.

However, they remain eight points behind Celtic having played three games more, with the defending champions running out 4-1 winners at Partick Thistle on Friday.

The former Brentford boss — who came under pressure following Rangers’ stuttering start to the season — believes his team are now starting to perform at their best.

“I think you’ve just seen the team starting to gel. It was another strong performance following on from last week,” the Rangers manager said.

“I thought we were good today as a team and that’s not being arrogant.

“Joe Garner was excellent again today and we now have an aerial outlet as well and a physical outlet when we need to.

“We had pace and players who were playing in different positions so we have players who can show us flexibility and that’s important to us.

“It was a pleasing afternoon. We knew we had to go and match their athleticism and physicality. We knew we had to start fast and we wanted to control the football more so than we did last week even though we had a good result.

“I thought we were played at our tempo with good intensity and good quality on the ball.

“The only disappointing thing was I thought we could have had more rewards by the end of the game.”

– ‘Very little bothers’ Cathro –

New Hearts head coach Ian Cathro had been the centre of attention before the match with several commentators questioning the wisdom of bringing in the 30-year-old — who never played the game professionally — to replace Robbie Neilson, departed for MK Dons.

But the former Rio Ave, Valencia and Newcastle United assistant said the criticism hadn’t affected him.

“Everyone will go through a process of getting to know me and I think you’ll soon realise that very little bothers me,” Cathro said.

“The reason why I’ve been able to make progress in my career is because I’ve focused on the work and that’s what I’ll do.”

While his first match in charge ended in disappointment, Cathro said he had learnt a lot about his side.

“It wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had in my life but that’s what happens when you lose a game of football and the idea is not to do that,” the Hearts head coach said.

“This game was always going to be good for us as it is an environment which puts an extra bit of pressure on everyone so you see the real people out there.

“Having this game as the first game that I’ve had with the players is a great thing and we just have to make sure we take maximum value out of it by quickly helping them to improve.

“There is a better team in the dressing room than what there was on the pitch today.

“It’s important that the supporters know that we will be better. I don’t want to be handing out the card that we need time as I believe there’s a good team in the dressing room that needs to be better.”

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