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Leagues: Scottish Premiership

Rangers have big game mentality, insists Warburton

Glasgow (AFP) – Mark Warburton insists Rangers can handle the pressure of big games after he faced questions about his side’s poor away record.

The Glasgow giants were hammered 4-1 by Hearts on Wednesday as they fell to their second defeat at Tynecastle this season.

Warburton’s side have a poor record at the homes of the teams that are around them in the top six of the Scottish Premiership and have lost away to Celtic and Aberdeen, as well as drawing with St Johnstone.

In Warburton’s first season in charge, the Ibrox side won the Championship but lost all of their away games against both Falkirk and Hibernian, who finished second and third in the second tier.

Defeat against Hearts left Warburton’s side 25 points adrift of rivals Celtic and just two ahead of Aberdeen, who have a game in hand, but the Gers boss says he doesn’t think his side have any real issues away from home.

“I don’t think there is a problem with big games. I don’t see it as a big problem,” Warburton said.

“We went to Aberdeen and I felt dominated and we should have won the game.

“We have gone to all these various other venues, Inverness, Partick, Dundee, Motherwell, we have won games of football very convincingly.

“The Parkhead game (September’s 5-1 defeat by Celtic) was well documented and at Hearts, we had two bad performances, it’s as simple as that.

“We then played the same teams at Ibrox and were very convincing in what we did. 

“So, that’s football, and what we have to do is learn. Everyone is human, we make mistakes, and have bad days at the office for want of a better term, but we have to learn from it.

“Are we worried about going to those grounds? Not at all, absolutely not.”

Rangers have little time to dwell on their defeat and will continue their league campaign at home to Ross County on Saturday, with the previous meetings of the sides this season ending in draws.

“We’re looking at the game from last night and we can’t sweep it under the carpet,” Warburton said.

“You look at it, ask some blunt questions and hope you get better for it. Plain and simple.

“Whether you play the top of the table or the bottom of the table, it’s three points.

“You don’t get five for beating someone and two for beating someone else.

“So the fact we are sitting second in the table tells you we are doing some things okay. We have to improve, of course we do, but the fact is the team is growing and we are learning.”

Runaway league leaders Celtic will be hoping to clinch their 19th consecutive league victory when they take on St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Sunday.

The Hoops, who are unbeaten in 28 matches since the start of the season, could have Moussa Dembele and Tom Rogic available for the game after injury.

Fixtures (1500 GMT unless stated)


Motherwell v Hearts (1215 GMT) Aberdeen v Partick, Hamilton v Kilmarnock, Inverness CT v Dundee, Rangers v Ross County


St Johnstone v Celtic (1230 GMT)

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