Burnley come to town – what to expect from Warburton’s Rangers


Tonight’s visit of English
Championship cracks Burnley represents the
first real test of the fledgling Mark Warburton era.
Rangers have undergone sweeping
changes since the former Brentford manager took over the helm, including colossal
turnover in the playing squad.
Fans from far and wide have been
gushing in their praise of the new boss’s performance thus far, and pre-season
results have given material to build on, not least the rather comfortable
dispatch of Ayr United.

But Burnley represent a much
larger threat, and while it is only a friendly, it is the manager’s maiden bow
at his new home of Ibrox and there is no chance anything other than a
constructive display will be good enough.
They say results in friendlies do
not matter – that is not totally true. For morale purposes, successful
pre-seasons are vital for squad psychology, and while it does not necessarily
indicate just how good a team is, a poor pre-season feels like it dismantles
everything the manager is trying to build and sets progress back a tad.
With a glut of new names already
secured though, and assurances about the formation being the standardised 4:3:3
universally deployed through all age ranges of the Club, tonight’s clash in
Govan sees Warburton putting into play the first real sense of the kind of team
we are going to regularly see this coming season.
It also provides a critical dress
rehearsal for Saturday’s trip to Easter Road.
Naturally, it is impossible to
pick the starting XI, but here is a stab at one anyway:
Foderingham in goal
A back four of Tavernier, Kiernan, Wilson and Wallace;
A midfield trio of Thompson, Murdoch and Halliday;
While the attacking trident could
be Clark, Miller and Waghorn.
Naturally, this is just
conjecture, and no one knows what starting XI the new boss has in mind, but
this is probably as good a guess as any. Whether we see trialist Jason Holt
start tonight is entirely uncertain – but he would likely play in Murdoch’s
place if he does start.
A warming sight is that defence, and seeing four proper players in their correct positions, including two from Wigan who are entirely familiar with each other already. Whether all four do start is up in the air though.
What is certain though is the brand of football simply has to be better than the absolute
horror Rangers fans have suffered for over three years. Warbs has preached the
notion of flowing, attacking football, with young, hungry fresh players eager
to please and work, while seniors around them keep them on their toes and guide
If Rangers can produce a
prototype of that, of a decent display, against a more than able Championship
side who were EPL last season, then it is a definite sign that Warburton’s
message is getting across properly.
And that is welcome from all of


  1. Holt would start before Thomson in my opinion.

    I highly doubt Thomson will be a regular starter this season

  2. cant wait to see this team in action it will be like man united in the years gone by with cream of englands youth rampaging over everyone who dares stand in our way the champions league is no longer a dream warbo has promised 3 years and not a day more be afraid be very afraid europe we are back in king we trust

    • heard the games sold out to see the champs we are the people who else could 60.000 for freindly dave king must be so proud of the work he has done is paying of big time and great to see the fans selling out ibrox in his name in king we trust

  3. Did he just say the cream of England's youth? I don't think so, but looks like he's building a good unit rather than individuals which has worked for him before.

  4. I am disappointed that Andy Murdoch has been put back down to the under 20's for their Irish tour. Hopefully he will train with the first team again when he gets back to Glasgow.

  5. Watched the game tonight against a workmanlike Burnley side – who created one chance in the first half and scored. We were promised a high tempo/pressing, fast and exciting brand of attacking football – on the evidence of what I watched it was no different to last season. Strikers who can't score and defenders who have a problem defending for 90mns

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