Rangers boss Mark Warburton brands Ronny Deila 'disrespectful'

25 February 2016 04:23

Rangers boss Mark Warburton claims Old Firm counterpart Ronny Deila is being "disrespectful" if he did say that it is "old-fashioned" to believe senior players should only play on grass.

The Gers manager recently reignited the debate about the use of artificial surfaces in Scottish football when he called for them to be banned in the top flight following a knee injury to Martyn Waghorn at Rugby Park, which could keep the striker out for the rest of the season.

The Celtic boss, asked his thoughts on the subject ahead of the Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Hamilton on the artificial surface at New Douglas Park on Friday night, was quoted in several newspapers as saying that it was "very old-fashioned" to say professional players should only play on grass and added: "My view is that a very good grass pitch is number one and then a very good artificial pitch is number two."

Warburton, ahead of the Championship encounter with St Mirren at Ibrox on Saturday, was asked about Deila's "old-fashioned" comment and said: "If Ronny did say that - if he did say that - I think that is disrespectful because you are entitled to your opinion.

"The one line from that interview that jumps out for me was 'number one is a good grass pitch, number two is a good artificial pitch'.

"If you are happy to accept second best, then go for the artificial pitch.

"If you want to set the highest standards then you go for the best quality grass pitch.

"That for me was the one sentence that summed it up."

Warburton admitted to being surprised by title rivals Hibernian's 3-0 home defeat to Morton on Wednesday night.

Alan Stubbs' men remain eight points behind the Light Blues at the top of the table with 11 games remaining.

However, Warburton insists the Easter Road result will have no affect at Ibrox as he prepares for an exciting finale to the season.

The former Brentford boss said: "I think it surprised everyone but it happens in football, that's why we love the game, it's the nature of the game.

"Last night's result doesn't change anything for Rangers.

"We've got to train well this week and prepare for St Mirren. There's a number of teams chasing the last play-off spot and it is tight.

"I think the attitude adopted by other teams will change - more gung-ho. I think they will really give it a go.

"There's still 11 games to go there's a lot of points to play for still.

"A lot of difficult matches home and away to play and all we can focus on is our next game and that won't change

"And whether it's Hibs, Falkirk, Raith Rovers, Queen of the South or Morton, they are all tough tests so we just need to prepare well for each and every game."

Source: PA