Rangers boss explains why Kenny Miller and Barrie McKay were left out during victory over Raith

Rangers Gates

The Gers extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Championship to 14 points.

Mark Warburton has explained that Kenny Miller and Barrie McKay played no part during Rangers' game against Raith on Tuesday simply because they were being rested, the Evening Times reports.

Despite the pair scoring 13 goals between them in the Scottish Championship this term, they were unused substitutes for the encounter at Ibrox. But before Gers supporters become concerned about the reason for their absence, Warburton claimed that it was a tactical decision to leave them out. 

When asked whether he had chosen to rest the pair, the Light Blues boss told the Evening Times: "Yes [Miller and McKay were rested]. Kenny had 90 minutes on Saturday and the key thing is to get the loading right.

"If we do that, he can keep being effective for us. He's been outstanding and Barrie has been terrific for us."

Given that Rangers are set to be without top goalscorer Martyn Waghorn for the majority of the remaining weeks of the campaign (via BBC Sport), it is unsurprising that Warburton took a cautious approach when it came to deciding whether to select two of his other main goalscorers.

The Gers were 2-0 up after just 51 minutes and were dominating most of the game, making it seem incredibly unlikely that Rovers were going to be able to pull it back, which would have made the pair's introduction almost pointless given that all they could do was make the victory more emphatic and were also in danger of picking up an injury. 

And while Warburton was probably not prepared for how the evening would unfold - with Hibernian's loss to Queen of the South meaning that the Light Blues are now 14 points clear at the top of the table - the decision to leave the pair out has been justified as they have extended their lead in the league and now have a fresher squad for their Scottish Cup clash with Dundee this weekend.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch