MARK WARBURTON believes mental fatigue could be Rangers’ toughest opponent in securing the Championship title.
But the Ibrox boss is adamant he won’t be signing a big target man to give his players an easy option to win matches.
Warburton insists his men play a high-intensity pressing game in every outing, regardless of the opposition.
That style, combined with themassive expectation that comes with representing an Old Firm club, can take its toll on players.
The Englishman accepts that being with Rangers can prove a draining experience, and that will influence his thinking when it comes to freshening up the squad in January.
He said: “That’s the bit I’m learning. It was something Davie Weir warned me about.
“We drew against Livingston last weekend, and had opposition players singing and dancing afterwards.
“They’re playing against Rangers, and we need players who can come and deal with that expectation.
“It’s not easy. A lot of players won’t deal with it.
“We have to make sure they can. So our homework, our diligence in recruitment, is very important.
“If he can enjoy Ibrox, relish the challenge, then that’s the player we want.
“Some players will crumble under the expectation, so we have to choose wisely.
“It’s a tough test to play here and we have to sometimes take people out of the firing line and give them a little breather.”
Hibs look like pushing Rangers all the way for the one automatic promotion spot to the Premiership at the end of the season.
The teams are level on points, although the Light Blues have a game in hand against Dumbarton. That takes place at Ibrox on Tuesday night and gives Warburton’s side the chance to open up a three-point gap at the top of the table.
A Martyn Waghorn double gave Rangers victory in the clubs’ first meeting this season in a campaign blighted only be the recent defeat to Hibs.
But Warburton steadfastly refuses to consider the title race as a shoot-out between his side and the Easter Road club.
And he is adamant he won’t sign players to provide him with attacking options similar to the Edinburgh men.
They have six footers like Farid El Alagui and Dominique Malonga making an impact most weeks.
The Rangers boss said: “We won’t allow another club to alter our thinking.
“Our style of play will never change.
“We’re not going to be a team who launches a 60-yard ball to a 6ft 5in centre-forward.
“That’s not going to be our style. We won’t be doing that. And as long as I am here, we won’t be doing that.
“Looking at the title being decided by the two remaining games between Rangers and Hibs is the most
dangerous view you can adopt, I think.
“Every week is a tough challenge.
“If we were to have teams open up and play expansive football against us in this league, I think we would do very well. We would come out on top.
“But teams aren’t going to play the Rangers way.
“We have to break down eight, nine, 10 players behind the ball and it’s difficult.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe