BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Rangers boss Mark Warburton admits he was “not a fan” of Nathan Oduwa’s showboating against Alloa – but denied the on-loan Tottenham Hotspur starlet meant any disrespect.
The gifted 19-year-old announced himself to the Gers faithful in memorable fashion yesterday, producing a series of crowd-pleasing flicks and tricks after entering the fray as a second-half substitute.
Oduwa’s brash debut was summed up when he attempted to beat Colin Hamilton with an audacious rainbow-flick, drawing the ire of the Alloa players defender, who believed the fancy flourish was uncalled for, given the part-timers were already 5-1 down.
While absolving the Spurs kid of any malice, Warburton acknowledged that the highly-rated youngster has plenty to learn during his time north of the border – and expressed his excitement that he will be the man to teach him.
Warburton said: “I’m not always a big fan of that [showboating]! But you’ve got to hope you develop a real talent – and he is a real talent.
“You’ve got to make sure you create the environment for those boys to flourish. That’s the key.
“I’m delighted with how he played and delighted we’ve got him. But he has to realise that he’s up here to learn.
“There’s no lack of respect intended by any of the players, absolutely not. Nathan’s just enjoying his football.
“We’ll have a quiet word about it. He’s a very respectful young guy. And I’ve no doubt he’ll make a right impression this season – for all the right reasons.”
Oduwa’s eye-catching cameo added gloss to a comfortable afternoon at the Indodrill Stadium; so often an unhappy hunting ground for Rangers.
A breathless start to proceedings saw three goals in the opening 10 minutes, with a Michael Chopra stunner sandwiched between James Tavernier’s opener and a Martyn Waghorn penalty.
The game was ended as a contest prior to half-time thanks to a close-range finish by Jason Holt and a deserved tap-in for the busy Kenny Miller. The former Scotland striker rounded off the scoring with his second of the game after 85 minutes.
Rangers have now netted 17 goals in four competitive games under Warbuton, with eight different scorers.
The encounter also represented the first outing as official club captain for Lee Wallace, who was handed the armband on a permanent basis just prior to kick-off in Clackmannanshire.
Warburton added: “People ask me why I didn’t do it earlier, but I think to rush into a decision of that magnitude would have been wrong.
“It’s a big responsibility and you have to know that the player is up to it.
“But Lee, from the first whistle, has been outstanding for us. He fully deserved it. When he said yes to the offer, I was delighted for him – because he will be crucial this season.”