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Rangers have silenced critics, says Warburton

Sat, 17 Dec 2016

Glasgow: Rangers manager Mark Warburton believes his players are starting to silence their critics following their 2-1 win over Hamilton at New Douglas Park on Friday.

A Martyn Waghorn double helped the Ibrox club claim their third successive victory in the Scottish Premiership -- their longest winning run in the league this season.

A poor performance in their 2-0 loss to Hearts two weeks ago -- their third loss of the season -- saw the Rangers players come in for some heavy criticism.

But consecutive wins over Aberdeen, Hearts and Hamilton has seen Warburton's side strengthen their grip on second spot as they move seven points clear of Aberdeen, albeit having played two games more.

"That's three wins on the trot for us and the table's starting to take shape and now we have to focus until our next game on December 24," said the Rangers manager, whose side face Inverness Caledonian Thistle next.

"They've given their critics food for thought that's for sure. Hamilton are a well-organised and hard-working team so to be as dominant as we were in the second half was very pleasing."

Goals on either side of half-time from Waghorn had Rangers seemingly easing to victory before Dougie Imrie pulled one back late on.

Waghorn, who was the Ibrox club's top scorer last season, has found his chances limited this term and he was making his first start since the 1-0 win over Inverness on October 14.

However, the English striker, whose only other league goal had come against Hamilton in a 1-1 draw at Ibrox on the opening day, grabbed his opportunity to justify his manager's selection.

And Warburton, whose side have struggled for goals this season, says he never had any doubts about starting the former Sunderland striker.

"We know the players and it's about using the squad. I think every player in the squad has to have that belief that we trust them," the Gers coach said.

"We absolutely trust every player. Having people like Joe Dodoo, Michael O'Halloran and Kenny Miller on the bench tonight tells you we are in a good place."

Waghorn was delighted to grab his first league goals since August and stake his claim for a run in the team ahead of the Old Firm clash against Celtic on New Year's Eve.

"Personally I am very pleased to get back in and get a couple of goals. It has been a long time coming so it was nice to be back and it was a good three points away from home," the Rangers striker said.

"I didn't necessarily have a point to prove but it was about staking my claim for my starting place in the team.

"It was nice to get in, do my job and take the three points home, which is the most important thing. I wanted to make an impact and hopefully I have done that.

"The aim is to still be in the starting line-up come Celtic but that is up to me to keep my place."