Ex-PNE striker can still be Gers’ action hero

Former Deepdale front man Joe Garner

Former Deepdale front man Joe Garner

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Rangers boss Mark Warburton has mounted a fierce defence of his most expensive summer signing Joe Garner.

The 28-year-old striker has come in for increasing criticism after scoring only three goals in 12 appearances since his £1.8m move from Preston.

Former Gers winger and current TV pundit Neil McCann, in a general criticism of Warburton’s signing policy, was quoted in one newspaper as describing Garner as being “in the wrong movie”.

Garner was only used as a second-half substitute in Rangers’ 2-0 defeat at Hearts on Wednesday night.

But the Light Blues boss said: “How many games has Joe played or started for Rangers and look at the sample size?

“Joe is only starting his career here, people are too quick to judge.

“He has come out of a different formation of course but how many games has he played?

“I am disappointed at certain comments because the sample size is so small.

“Give the player the chance to settle in and understand how a team plays.

“But to judge him so quickly is very short-sighted.

“He is doing well, he is adapting, he offers a different side to the game for us.

“His movement, his physicality, he is aerially strong in both boxes, a good first touch, he is an experienced goalscorer with a bright future ahead of him at Rangers.

“We are delighted to get Joe Garner but as I say people need to give players time to settle in to new surroundings.

“Sometimes players hit the ground running, sometimes it takes a few games to work their way in.

“I have no doubts about Joe Garner whatsoever.”

Garner was replaced by Joe Dodoo against Partick Thistle on Saturday and watched from the bench as the 21-year-old summer signing from Leicester scored twice late on – the second with almost the last kick of the ball – to give Rangers a 2-1 win.

Warburton said: “I was told previously that Joe Dodoo hadn’t worked, another failed signing apparently and now the same people are writing magnificent Joe Dodoo.

“They are too short-sighted. Their comments change too quickly.

“You have to give players time to settle, the same as any industry.

“I was delighted for Joe Dodoo, he came on and did what we know he can do, he trains so well every day, it is nice to have that type of selection problem.”