MARK WARBURTON, the Rangers manager, says the club must take inspiration from Tottenham Hotspur’s European approach as it came out the White Hart Lane side will be the opposition in next month’s pre-Scottish Cup final friendly.
It emerged last week that the Ibrox squad, who complete their domestic campaign this Sunday away to St Mirren, will take on a Barclays Premier League side in order to keep them ticking over ahead of their Hampden showpiece with Hibernian on May 21.
While the opposition remained a mystery when Warburton spoke of his plans before the weekend’s draw with Alloa Athletic, it can now be revealed it is in fact Mauricio Pochettino’s team that will provide the closed-doors test.
It is an opponent and club the Englishman knows well. He took his Rangers side down to their Enfield-based training complex last summer and he currently has Spurs’ Dominic Ball on loan in Glasgow.
Meanwhile, Warburton spoke yesterday about how Tottenham’s ability to schedule and prepare for consecutive big games is something his own team can learn from ahead of their promotion to the top flight in the summer.
After beating Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final earlier this month, Rangers then went on to lose to Hibs before their 1-1 stalemate with Alloa on Saturday. Their manager acknowledges it is a dip that is consistent elsewhere, but insists the art of bouncing positively out of a huge match can still be worked on.
“I was interested by Tottenham,” said Warburton. “Obviously we have a relationship with them but I was interested by the Europa League.
“Now, we need to beat Hibs first to get anywhere near that, so I’m not tempting fate in that respect. But we could have a Europa League game on the Thursday night in Uzbekistan, get back early hours of Friday morning.
“Spurs did that, go back at 6am the Friday morning when they had Aston Villa away on the Sunday. They went to bed, reported for training Saturday, flew to Birmingham and won 2-0.
“That’s it but I remember them saying in previous years that had been difficult and they learned from it, we have to learn from it. It’s about how you use your squad, timings, loadings, because it is a learning curve for the players.”