Rangers key man explains why Warburton has got it wrong

By Alex Stevens

Martyn Waghorn is hoping to convince Mark Warburton to have a change of heart and select him for the Old Firm derby.

Rangers’ top scorer has been sidelined for the last two months with a knee injury but has not given up hope of facing Celtic in the mouthwatering Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday.

Waghorn, who has scored 28 goals in 34 matches for Rangers this season and also weighed in with eight assists, picked up the injury in a fifth-round win against Kilmarnock in February.

Warburton insisted last weekend that the former Wigan and Leicester forward is not in contention to play.

“Martyn won’t be in the Old Firm game,” said the manager. “The guy’s been out for six weeks. He has to get fit. You can’t just come back in to a game of that level.

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“But if we get through that then I think hopefully he’ll figure in the final.”

However, Waghorn is hoping to convince Warburton to have a change of heart.

“I wouldn’t say definitely out, I’m working really hard to try to change his mind,” said Waghorn, as quoted in the Scottish Sun. “The injury is getting there, I have been progressing well this week in training so I’m still holding on to something.”

Low standard: Burley is unimpressed by Deila’s Celtic team

The 26-year-old striker admits he may not be at full fitness for the Hampden showdown but has not given up hope of being in the matchday squad.

Waghorn said: “In terms of match sharpness I probably won’t be ready but, I’m getting as ready as I can.

“It’s a big game I want to play so we will see how it progresses over the next couple of days. It would be great if I can play but I know if I can’t we have 11 other players who can fill in and do the job.”

In other Rangers news, former Celtic midfielder Craig Burley has given a withering assessment of the significance of the Old Firm fixture.