Written by – Jamie Currie
THE GAME IN 140 OR FEWER
The moral of this story is: do your talking on the park and not in the media because if the result doesn’t go your way, you will look rather foolish.
We all wanted to see Rangers show their testicular fortitude, and that’s exactly what they did. Lots of character, skill, heart and desire. It was a high-octane fixture and one that Rangers dominated throughout. They could have taken the lead on 18 minutes, but Barrie McKay could only fire wide. Against the run of play, it was Jason Cummings who gave Hibs the lead on 23 minutes – he somehow found space in the box and clipped the ball over Foderingham. But Rangers responded when Jason Holt bagged a double before half-time. Nicky Clark made it 3-1 shortly after coming off the bench. Andy Halliday then saw red, before Malonga made it 3-2. Before that, Kenny Miller and Clark had glorious chances to kill off the game, but that was left to Martyn Waghorn and he scored a scored a superb solo effort on the 89th minute.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jason Holt won the man of the match in the stadium, but I am going to give this one to Martyn Waghorn.
Waghorn put in the most selfless performance anyone wearing blue could have wished for. He tracked back and covered Tavernier all game and also was a constant thorn in the side of Lewis Stevenson. He capped his fine display off with the magnificent 4th goal.
“I’ve got to thank the fans. I know there was a big build-up to the game – and understandably so – but we kept quiet as a club this week, and did the right thing.
“But to get that level of support from the first whistle was magnificent. It’s about players learning from that – it’s fantastic to enjoy it as a football supporter – but the players now have to learn from that atmosphere and they have to crave that every week.
“Every time we play at Ibrox, we want that and more and we only do that but we only do that by delivering performances and winning trophies and taking the club forward.
“That’s the responsibility of the football department – but the fans were outstanding today.”
STAT OF THE MATCH
Martyn Waghorn found the net for the 21st time this season. Good going from a guy who has never had a reputation for being an out-and-out goalscorer.
Jason Holt grabbing the equaliser. From that moment Rangers grew in confidence and Hibs’ bottle crashed. All the luck they had been carrying in recent weeks deserted them, and they were shown up for the average side that they are.
- I felt the defence as a whole played very well. It was noticeable that they dropped five or 10 yards deeper than normal, and the full-backs took it in turns when attacking. When Wallace was going down the left, Tavernier held is position at right-back and vice-versa. This helped the whole team maintain its shape.
- Nicky Law was an important inclusion in the starting line-up. He was absolutely excellent; he added that bit of steel and composure in the engine room, and he ran the midfield before he was replaced by Dean Shiels.
- Something else which was completely noticeable was the fact that Rangers were more direct and decisive in their passing in the final third. Also, there were many long diagonals being played over the head of Gray, Stevenson, and then McGregor in the second half. It caused them lots of problems.
- Mark Warburton got his subs spot on – both were instrumental in the third goal not long after entering the field of play.
- It was a day that we saw that Mark Warburton is not tactically inflexible. He showed he can be pragmatic when the it is the correct time to do so.
TWEETS OF THE MATCH
A trip on Saturday to Dumbarton. Kick-off 3pm.