Glasgow Rangers: Warburton impressed by ‘fiery’ former Liverpool youth Jordan Rossiter
If Rangers manager Mark Warburton is looking to add extra steel to his midfield he looks to have found it in the shape of former Liverpool youngster Jordan Rossiter.
The England youth international made his debut as a second-half substitute on Monday in the Ibrox club’s 3-0 League Cup win over Stranraer. It came just days after returning from action at the Under-19s Euros and Rossiter wasted little time getting stuck into a few meaty challenges.
That impressed Warburton, who said: “He’s fiery, he can look after the football and won’t shy away from anything. We need that ruggedness in midfield.”
Niko Kranjcar meanwhile fired home his first goal for the club as Rangers rounded off their League Cup group-stage schedule with a fourth straight win.
But Kranjcar was left wincing after Ryan Thomson careered through the back of his legs near the end of the League One part-timers’ defeat.
Despite ending up in a heap there was no damage done to the former Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth playmaker and Warburton brushed off suggestions his summer signing needs greater protection from referees. He insists Kranjcar will be able to handle the rough and tumble of Scottish football.
“It was a bad tackle but he got up, so he’s fine touch wood,” said the Englishman. “You don’t play 80 caps for Croatia (if you need protecting), he can look after himself, don’t worry about that.
“That was a bad tackle but we move on from it.
“Niko was good tonight, he got through the 90 although he tired after 75 minutes but he’s working on that.”
Rangers were two goals up inside a quarter of an hour after Martyn Waghorn tucked away a penalty before adding a second soon after.
The win was the team’s fourth straight Group F victory and confirms their place in the last 16 of the new-look League Cup.
“There were lots of positives tonight,” added the Rangers manager. “Joey Barton got an hour, Jordan got 30 minutes, while Niko and Harry Forrester got through 90 minutes.
“All the squad have had good pitch time now, four games in nine days and we’ve come through unscathed in terms of injury.
“We’ve had four clean sheets, so lots of positives.”
Stranraer manager Brian Reid said: “We made it hard for ourselves by giving them a gift of a start with the penalty. The most important thing about coming to a place like this was to keep it tight and try to frustrate and we didn’t do that.
“It was the worst possible start as it gave them the lift and we lost our way for a bit and it could have been a long night.
“It was a footballing lesson at times, you see what a good team they are with the way they move the ball but it was a good experience for my boys.
“It was a big ask as some of my players had only finished their work at 5pm. We dug in and we were never going to expect to come here and win.”
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Published: July 26, 2016 04:00 AM