28-year-old should be axed: Three things we learned about Rangers in draw v St Johnstone
By Dominic Toner
Football Insider analyses three talking points from Rangers’ 1-1 draw with St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership.
Garner should be axed v Celtic
Rangers manager Mark Warburton should leave Joe Garner out of the starting line-up against Old Firm rivals Celtic on Saturday. The 28-year-old was quiet in the game against St Johnstone and has not scored in the league since October. He has become a big favourite with the club’s supporters, but Martyn Waghorn would be a better option against Celtic. Garner has scored just three goals in 21 appearances this campaign and needs some time on the bench. The striker did see his long-range shot saved by the goalkeeper and that resulted in Rangers’ first goal, but he was unable to threaten the oppositions goal on any other occasion. He was withdrawn by Warburton in the second-half and needs to begin showing why Rangers paid £1.5million for him in the summer.
McKay is not a defender
Warburton operated with wing-backs in the St Johnstone match and Barrie McKay was used on the left flank. The 21-year-old was extremely strong going forward, but looked out of sorts defensively. He is recognised as a winger and Rangers would be punished by Celtic if they operate with the same wing-backs. McKay scored the opening goal and showed his qualities in attack and Warburton must keep him in the attacking third. Rangers skipper Lee Wallace’s absence through injury forced the change in tactics and substitute Lee Hodson would have been a better option as he is naturally a full-back. McKay can’t be risked again in a defensive position
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Waghorn should have started
Martyn Waghorn was dropped to the bench against St Johnstone and Rangers missed his presence in the game. The striker was second-half substitute and showed his qualities off the bench, but he should have started the match. The 26-year-old was omitted perhaps with one eye on Saturday’s game against Celtic, which he must be recalled to the starting line-up in. He was left out against St Johnstone despite being in his best form of the season and Warburton needs to utilise the in-form player. Waghorn scored a fantastic brace in the 2-1 win against Hamilton in December and also played a major role in the 1-0 victory over Inverness. His omission against St Johnstone came as a huge surprise to supporters and they certainly missed his attacking threat when he was off.
In other Rangers news, Kris Boyd has responded to whether the club can beat Celtic on Saturday.