Kenny Miller. Nicky Law. Ryan Hardie. Danny Wilson. Barrie McKay. Jason Holt.
On most given matches this would be half of Rangers’ first team, but last night Mark Warburton put all of them on the bench, and started instead with Ball, Shiels, Zelalem, Oduwa and Clark.
Rangers’ starting XI was strong last night, to say the least. And it ran out a stroll as comfortable winners 0-5. But it was the strength of the bench which was quite easily the most impressive bench Rangers have had post-admin.
They say the true status of a team is judged by looking at the bench. If a squad has depth, the players in reserve will be just as viable/good as those who start.
Manager Mark Warburton has preached from the get-go about having a bench that is able to equally replace the first team, and that the game is about the whole squad, not just the first XI.
Going by this, the man has absolutely nailed it:
- David Templeton is out injured. He is not missed.
- Darren McGregor has been released. He is not missed.
- Marius Zaliukas has been released. He is not missed.
- Cammy Bell is out injured. Easily covered.
- Calum Gallagher was sold. And?
- Andy Murdoch has been demoted to the unders. Makes no difference.
Mark Warburton has systematically set about building an efficient, lean, well-equipped squad which has just as much strength on the bench as it does in the starting XI.
For a supposedly ‘reserve’ level first team to go out and absolutely smash Airdrieonians last night gives some indication of the strides Warburton is making to get Rangers moving in the right direction.
25 goals scored and 7 out of 7 wins suggest he is doing exactly that.