Mark Warburton: “I made a mistake”


Mark Warburton has had a tough time of it recently – the Magic Hat has felt pressure at Ibrox for the first time following a dismal start to life back in the SPL and for a Rangers support more accustomed to challenging at the top for the title this has been rather hard to swallow.

With an increasingly stubborn reputation emerging, Warburton has asserted that he will not change anything regarding Rangers’ system, and has never admitted any kind of fault on his part since signing up at Govan last summer year.

Until yesterday, that is.

For the first time, Mark Warburton admitted he had made a mistake, owning up to an error and finally implying a touch of flexibility on his part and that very human weakness which is ‘getting something wrong’. He said:

“With Andy we made what we thought was the right decision (against Kilmarnock & Celtic). In hindsight, it wasn’t the right decision.”

He deserves a lot of credit for holding his hands up and admitting he was wrong – and this is all Rangers fans deserve from their manager when things are not going too well.

If Rangers’ results are good, and the team is smooth, then it does not really matter if an error there or an error here is made, the overall picture overrules that. But when those results and performances are not up to scratch, when things are not going well and a manager comes under pressure, to concede making some mistakes is the kind of transparency and honesty fans need in order to regain faith and trust in their gaffer.

How can you trust implicitly someone who never accepts being wrong?

Halliday has been one of Rangers’ better performers this year; by no means sparkling, he has nevertheless coped better with the step up than many of his colleagues, and had an especially productive day in the middle of the park in his now-familiar defensive midfield role, pulling strings, getting in some excellent defending to support his back four and even managing a goal.

I have not always been his biggest fan, while equally cutting him slack in light of his being out of position all last season, but he has produced this season; hence it was a mistake to drop him and a total surprise at that.

Hence Warbs’ concession of that mistake on top of a solid win yesterday (if not a truly inspirational one, Partick were much the better team until the goal) is extremely commendable and does slightly aid his stock. At least in this writer’s eyes.

It shows willingness to show he is mortal, and capable of making the same gaffes as the rest of us – and shows us a little more trust, by showing a little humanity and transparency on his part.

Asking for a system change is probably too much – he has been steadfast in his refusal to adjust, and even preached the system at his weekend presser along with defender Danny Wilson (who is thoroughly reaping the benefits of the timely disappearance of Rob Kiernan).

But given this borderline seismic shift in willing to admit to being wrong, maybe he is capable of altering other things too.

We shall see.


  1. Dunno what game u watched yesterday but from what I saw both teams were slow yesterday. Apart from partick two chances (one each half) I thought Wilson and senderos had a very good game only Mckay was a worry with so many lose balls back wards.
    But the haliday thing I had said at the time was a mistake. He bossed the midfield at the last old firm game and instead we played a player who's got more ego than talent. Yesterday just showed we need a Kris Boyd type of striker in the box, everyone seems to pull out wide with no one waiting for the final ball, and Millers excellent cross in the 1st half to an empty box showed that. Plus we should at times just punt the ball up, that's exactly where our 2nd goal came from, a long ball and a mistake from there defence allowed our players to get in

    • He is simply talking up the man he now has to rely on. Plus it is a way of drawing the line under a bad start emphasising the role of a player who was not part of it and who can be trusted to give his all for the jersey. Hampden now the key for the magic hat. Win that one with Halliday in the team then optimism returns and momentum grows. Lose it by more than 2 goals or going down with a whimper and it will be goodbye with few tears shed.

  2. "A solid win yesterday". Well I have to say it was a shocking display against a rank rotten team. No disrespect to any of the poorest Junior teams in Scotland but that was Thistle's level of play yesterday and as you said, they could have won the game.
    Waghorn, Forrester and Holt to name but three seem to have lost all faith in a losing, disastrous, tactically nieve, triangular tippy tappy, plodding system and who can blame them.
    I would also like to see MW's constant omission of Hudson and O'Halloran given the same reconsideration as done with Halliday.
    But then again if the tactics are abysmal why expect a change of personnel to improve the content. It just can't happen.
    Having said all that it is just a game and the very sad news of our fellow Ranger's supporter"s bus crash on their way to the game puts it in perspective. My thoughts are with them and their families. RIP.

  3. The thing about Andy is, he gets Rangers!, He gets what the fans are all about! His blood is blue!,,,ergo, he cares for Rangers. If the blue 11 walked onto the park with as much passion as Andy has for our club, we'd be at the top of the league. There are still players in our team thinking a draw is a good result?!, Any player who thinks that when playing for Rangers, should be shown the door. Remember our very own Terry Butcher kicking the door down when Billy McNeill was being interviewed on tv after the manky mob beat us at parkhead?!,, Thats caring about the club,,, yes Andy isnt the best player, but he would be my first choice for he give 100% for the club in every game,, we need players to understand the Rangers jersey and get what Rangers are all about!!!

  4. The game was a drab bore yesterday, that was the bottom team in the league and we struggled. It is just not happening as far as i'm concerned, I do not see the improvement the manager claims is there. And as for Barton, I don't want to see him in a gers jersey ever again get him TF.

    • I cant help thinking we are missing the point in respect of Barton saga as the basic content of his midemeanours, thus far, could have been predicted long before he ever saw Ibrox Park, I am certainly not one for giving a dug a bad name but this guy always has and will be a disruptive negative influence wherever he goes/lives/eats/drinks/breathes and we all knew that but for some worrying reason were willing to kid ourselves on that things would be different, bottom line is that The Hat speculated on this move as is the nature of the beast re-vast majority of his past working in "The City" and we all know what an international financial balls up these guys caused with their tunnel vision and arrogant greed recently, the Hat is not and never will be a compotent football manager/tactician, which is fast becoming abundantly clear, although it seems some bears insist the sun shines oot his arse but sooner rather than later the proof will be there for all to see at the end of the season when the league table will look as if it is upside doon (If he lasts that long, which I personally very much doubt) and we will get someone (anyone) else in who understands that the ball is allowed to go higher than 4 foot in the air and further than 8 yards up the park, I sympathies with Andy Halliday as I respect and appreciate that he is a true blue but life must be very lonely as he is probably the only true blue in that dressing room, I may be showing my age but cant help yearning for my earlier gers days watching McLoy, Jardine, Geig, Doddy, DJ, etc etc who WOULD all die for the famous jersey and were managed by a football MAN manager in Jock Wallace, as Jock always said "NO SURRENDER" (in the nicest possible way you understand!)

  5. I have said it before on this forum and I will keep saying it….Rangers have a squad of players capable of a place in the top 3 and with some variety in formation & tactics could push Celtic to the last few games of the season. BUT, if MW stubbornly sticks to 4 – 3 – 3 then dropping Waghorn & Tavernier for O'Halloran and Hodson would be a very positive start. Put simply, it would offer a more solid defence and keep the shape of the team intact. We do have a squad with pace, skill, determination and passion…MW needs to unleash all the attributes. A predictable 4 – 3 – 3 with formulated changes on 60 minutes is just too obvious and repetitive. Come on MW, you have build a very good squad, utilise it to the full.

    • Totally agree Richard I think our central defenders would be far happier with decent full backs. I'd drop Tav in an instant and play Hodson, I'd even consider dropping Wallace to let Halliday play in that position, giving a much more solid defence. The midfield three, if it must be 4-3-3, would be Windass, Kranjcar and Holt with Crooks a possible inclusion. Front 3 would be Dodoo, Garner and MoH. Personally I don't think MW knows anything else and that is why he will not change, he has no experience of any other type of play.

    • Interesting suggestion re Halliday, not one I had thought about but it may work. To get the best from Kranjcar I think he needs to play centrally in an advanced position. Some say he is a luxury but he is the one player we have with the ability to open teams up. For that reason i'd go 4 – 2 – 3 – 1. It offers a solid platform for the attacking players to express themselves and stops teams hitting us on the break. I'd like to see Gillks, Hodson, Senderos (Hill) Wallace, Rossiter & Halliday, O'Halloran, Kranjcar, Dodoo & Garner. Back this up with Holt, McKay, Forrester, Crooks, Miller.

    • Yep agree mate, better looking side you have there, looks a good shape, solid where it needs to be and pacy and creative up front. Windass for me would be one of the first pushing for a place and Holt would give variation of play as a replacement for Krajcar or keeping pressure on him for the position. I really like Liam Burt and think he should be included in the squad soon, the lad has talent and would fit in really well to that team of yours.

  6. This site is full of constant negativity in the comments section ffs guys get real we're a work in progress we've not got the great players or the finances of the past and btw if you don't like it don't go. The team doesn't need this constant negativity it achieves nothing!!!

  7. I think you are correct about danny , he is a different player when he only has too concentrate on his own game . Without any doubt he and big Hill are the best partnership so far .

  8. Well said Martin Black. Why are we so desperate to praise our manager when in reality he's taken weeks to admit specific errors. I said it before and I will say it again his arrogance will be his downfall. In terms of someone who doesn't "get rangers" then you have to say that he is the worst culprit, to come out with "no one has died" in the aftermath of a terrible old firm display he hasn't a clue about what it means to us. He's still quoting "yeah seasoned pros like Clint hill and Matt gilks can't believe the media coverage up bee and the pressure" well Mark we really couldn't give a toss what they think. Why he thinks statements like that will ever appease us is beyond me and part of the reason why I think we won't improve as much as we need to under his stewardship and I hope he is shown the door sooner rather than later. A blind man can see we are not ruthless enough under him, the tactics are wrong and easy for teams to play against, there is no flexibility whatsoever when things aren't going our way and don't even get me started on the stubborn 60min sub ethos he sticks to!!!!

  9. I agree with the previous comment regarding tav and waggy gettin dropped when off form bt will it happen when they were bought for peanuts around 400.000 the pair ! And givin their displays could fetch 6or seven times that in fees and the manager is on a percentage of sales ?

    • 6 or 7 times their original fees?

      What planet are you on…..they will go in January for £2m tops in total, that should cover the January wage bill, then what?

      Who will fund the shortfall till the fans are ripped off again next May for ST monies…..the board has failed the fans.

  10. Our main problem is we don't have a striker who wants to have a go. To often we are trying to walk it into the net.In the close season the majority of bears thought our team would be the bollacks this season and wipe the floor with everyone, sadly not the case. But we are streets ahead of where we were last season and the season before we couldn't get out of the league. Patience is needed. I know it hurts to be brought crashing back to earth, but if we slip into Europe and get a reasonable position in the league being realistic that would be a result. We need to face reality and stop calling for heads.

  11. Sorry, but for me , MW's tactics are awful.
    Tav and Waldo are not defenders and more suited to mf.
    Why O'Halloran does not play is unbelievable and the 100000 passes before shooting is unforgivable.
    Change it if you can. We best QOS by 5 when nobody else could score against them. Then changed the whole team.
    Sorry, all this does not make good watching for fans
    Halliday for captain if Waldo can't inspire the team on the park
    Let's play decent attacking football. Nursery teams can predict what we are planning next

  12. Settle down guys, we havent seen anywhere near our best yet. Mark still doesnt know his best team yet, Windass in and out…Crooks getting fit ..holt just back…Garner settling in….Dodoo in and out…etc etc the list goes on, up a level…and still pretty much in the mix, all things considered i think we are doing ok, and on the way up. Lets get behind the team…we are stonewall certainties for 2nd (grrrrr) but lets be realistic….way too much ground to make up, season one.

    • What about Rossiter, where is he?

      Is it true that the injuries that stifled his career at Liverpool have followed him up the road?

    • There are rumours doing the rounds that despite passing the medical the club may cancel his contract due to the recurring nature of his injuries.
      It's evident that something is up because there is no mention of what's ailing him in the media.

  13. We can beat the lower league teams but that's about the level we are at.

    Richard you are far off the mark when you say we have a squad that can compete with Celtic, it's unrealistic comments like those that are a constant reminder of how too high our sights are set and will inevitably lead to disappointment.

    let's keep it real and walk before we can run. Warbs probs is not a static formation, it's quality of player, you set your tactics on the strengths of your individual players anything else is square peg in a round hole.

    I hope he finds his best team soon and things click and we see some better performances. The game at the weekend, needed a bit of quality, a spark but unfortunately it's just not there at the moment. It will come.

    • Hi James – I was careful not to say we could challenge Celtic, but I do believe we can push them harder than we are at present. I totally agree on building a team based on the quality of players available. If we agree the most naturally creative player is Kranjcar then we probably also agree we need a team/formation to protect his weaknesses while allowing him the freedom to play his passing game where it will do the most damage, in the final third.

      We can agree or disagree on the quality of players currently available but we probably do agree the quality of the opposition is not great and the squad we do have should be capable of competing within the SPL. Apart from against Celtic, Aberdeen & Hearts we should compete and win more regularly ?

      So, I think we are in violent agreement…we could do better with what we have but need more quality to de-throne Celtic….hopefully before Ten in a row !!!!!

    • Hopefully before 10 IAR?

      As the gap financially becomes a chasm there is absolutely no evidence, or plan, that we will catch up.
      CL income will allow Rodgers to strengthen in the next 2 windows whilst finances will likely see us selling anyone we can get a fee for.
      Dembele and Tierney will bring them in £30m plus if they choose to sell, add in another £30 for CL qualification again next season.
      The increase in the wage bill is likely to push us deeper into the red, no matter how much more ST money has come in, especially if the Sports Direct loan has been repaid using these monies.
      Perhaps the transparent Board could let us know………..far chance I know?

      Up till now the improvement in performances on the field have glossed over the off field issues, particularly finance.

      Very soon these issues are going to be front and centre, what is the board doing to head off another financial meltdown?

    • 10 IAR and then more is a certainty given the finances available to Celtic.

      We will never catch up with them with the current board who have complete,y failed the support.

      Thanks Dave…….where's your investment, where's your Nomad?

    • Richard, thanks for taking the time to reply, surely us pushing Celtic to the last few games of the season is akin to a credible 'challenge' to Celtic.

      We won't get near that target in my humble opinion and Celtic will have the league tied up by Late Jan/Feb. They can even add a player or two in the Jan transfer window and could bring in cash for some of their fringe players, so they will get stronger and more cash rich.

      We can do neither of those things and will exist under attrition unless King throws in some serious wedge (highly unlikely) or we get a new investor (again unlikely).

      We could have got closer to Celtic of last season but they are vastly improved and although we have improved somewhat we would suffer if we lost a couple of key players thru injury.

      In saying that I hope your prediction is good and we do mount a serious credible challenge, but I fear our targets and preseason expectancy was way too high.

  14. We have the look of an EPL academy team where the aim is to get everyone a touch of the ball rather than win.The body language of the players is telling me all is not rosy in the garden.Miller and Waghorn were at it all day, Wilson was screaming at Wallace who looked lost again.I'm sick of this formation as well,I'm a bit long in the tooth and prefer the old 442.We must establish a prefered front pair and try and get a run of games.Why buy Garner then try and change the way he plays? He needs crosses to attack.Many teams can adapt formation during games depending on how its going but W is one way or nothing.Is it a stubborn belief in his ability,or is he limited?He's got the look of Ronny Delia about him(not physically)and something has to give because that was rotten on Saturday and as I said,body language doesn't lie.

  15. Recent criticism of Mark Warbarton' tactics, team selection, his transfers together with the teams performances are, in my opinion, wholly justified. Football clubs are no different from any other business, in that when they make a change of manager then the expectation (from board room to the fan base) is that we see sustained incremental improvement.
    It is without doubt that we all saw this last season. The football was entertaining, the results were good and the tactics were rarely questioned. In fact, it's fair to say that Warburton and the players got a 'free ride' however we still had to see the sustainability of tactics, performances and results.
    In my opinion that ended at the Scottish Cup semi final. We don't need to rejoice in that performance any more – we know how good it was and how fantastic the result was. However have been sustained that performance since? Have we incrementally improved since that day? The answer to both these questions is NO and that's where I have a problem.
    To a layman it looks as though panic has ensued:
    Our midfield pressing game has been compromised because of the buys of Barton and Krankjar. To blames these 2 is easy but Warburton must have known their style of play prior to them arriving at Murray Park.
    Garner is not a prolific scorer and wasn't such at Preston. He is not suited to Rangers' style of play.
    Talking about the defence is pointless – it's been said before. We all knew what was needed and it looks like wee panicked and bought on deadline day or thereabouts. That leak should have been plugged early in the summer.
    I hope Warburton and Weir know their preferred team, formation, tactics and philosophy but at the moment I have my doubts.

  16. Most of the fan base fell for the Level 5 crap that was pumped out throughout the close season as a complete new team of players was signed up.
    Bosmans, free transfers and the odd development fee thrown in……Nico, Joey, et al, all pronounced as transfer coups for Warbs and McParland.
    We are now seeing the reality of that transfer policy and remember Warbs has been quoted on several occasions thanking the board for backing him to the hilt so the blame cannot be shifted from the management team.
    Celtic picked up Dembele for less than £500k plus a signing on fee. At his rate of improvement he will go for £20m plus in the close season…..this is the sort of value that our management team have promised us, but instead of adding value we have half a squad that will have to be replaced next year because of their age.
    What about younger players coming through from the development squad… their any?
    Celtic have Tierney now attracting attention from the top EPL teams and Bayern Munich… much will he go for?
    Have you seen the video of the other 13 year old Dembele who had a run out for the under 20's last night…….yes, under 20's. He's sensational and if Celtic can hang on to him till he's old enough to sign pro forms he will rake in a fortune for them when the big boys come calling.
    There are constant rumours floating around about the state of our finances and that the money
    borrowed to repay the Sports Direct loan came from ST monies. …… the fans.
    If that's the case then the ST monies will be gone before Xmas…..what then?
    The board have failed the fans and unless someone with millions to throw away appears then we are heading for financial meltdown again.
    The investment promises made have long been forgotten and those who made them have slipped
    into the shadows.
    There is no medium or long term plan to address the gulf between us and Celtic, on or off the park.
    The league has already gone for this season and the forseeable future.
    The fallacy that Europa Cup qualification will solve the financial issues is just that…..there is no real money to be made unless you get a prolonged run in the tournament which would be unlikely given that UEFA see us a new team with zero coefficient so we would do well to get past the first qualifying round.
    Get your heads out of the sand. King and his board, apart from issuing statements playing to a specific element of the support, have done nothing to take the club forward.
    5th place jn the league with difficult games coming up……top 6 will be an achievement. There will be no additions in January as finances will result in anyone capable of bringing in a fee being punted as part of a distress sale.
    We are in a very dangerous place and it's getting worse…….proof? Craig Houston elected to Club 1872 board….wow, just wow.
    Perhaps Mr Blair could bring us up to date about the cash at bank figure?


    • Nice try anonymous 4th oct at 08:53 lol. You were sounding convincing until the second letter was typed. You're clearly one of the great unwashed so run along now, sad that you are so bitter you need to come on here trying to kid on you're a bluenose. Twat

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