MARK Warburton called his side’s 1-1 draw with St Johnstone a missed opportunity to climb to second in the Premiership.

With Hearts and Aberdeen losing this week three points would have taken Rangers level with the Dons in second spot.

The Gers manager said his players could have been braver and referred to a below par second-half performance as the route of the result.

Joe Garner equalised for the Light Blues with a brilliant glancing header after the Saints had gone ahead inside five minutes.

Warburton said:

“It is an opportunity missed for us to climb the table and you could say it was a disappointing game because we are at home and we want to win those games of football – it’s been a frustrating evening.

“We conceded a very good goal but then I thought we moved the ball well first-half and we were patient and got the ball back.

“We went in at half-time and felt we would have come out for a stronger second-half but we have to be honest with ourselves and the second-half wasn’t what we wanted as a group.

“We didn’t move the ball well enough, we didn’t take care enough and we didn’t get the rewards we were after tonight.

“It was a great goal to get us back into it and we were getting contact first on set-pieces which was nice to see but we could have been a bit braver possibly on a few occasions and we spoke about that at half-time.

“It was one of those freaky situations for their goal with Lee over on the far side but it was a tremendous finish and then you find yourself 1-0 down so early on in the game against a very well organised team.

“We came in at 1-1 and felt confident going into the second-half and we knew what was at stake but the second-half performance fell below the levels we are looking at.”

Garner netted his second goal since joining from Preston this summer in the draw and it was a second with his head.

The 28-year-old could have nodded home a winner with 16 minutes of the game left to play but his effort bounced just inches over the crossbar.

The Gers now face Kilmarnock this Saturday at Ibrox where a win would be welcomed to keep their Premiership campaign alive.

His manager said:

“Joe is very strong aerially, he is not a six foot two giant of a centre-forward but he has tremendous spring, he is very brave and his technique is good too.

“You saw his header and his defensive header before that as well so he is very useful in both boxes. He worked hard tonight and deserved his goal so I am pleased for him.

“We know what we have to do on Saturday now, the fans know what we do well, we are brave on the football, take care of it in tight areas, we shift it quickly and we create chances.”

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