Warburton names player who could have made a difference for Rangers in Scottish Cup final

Dominic Ball - Tottenham Hotspur

Glasgow Rangers missed Dominic Ball, then on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, due to suspension.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton celebrates winning the Scottish Championship with the trophyRangers manager Mark Warburton celebrates winning the Scottish Championship

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has suggested to The Daily Record that the Gers could have won the Scottish Cup final last season had Dominic Ball been available.

Ball, who played on loan for Rangers from Tottenham Hotspur last season, was suspended for the Scottish Cup final against Hibernian at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

The Gers were favourites to win the final in May, but they went down 3-2 to Hibs. Warburton has admitted that he is still disappointed that Rangers could not win the Scottish Cup final.

The former Brentford boss has suggested that the absence of Ball, who can play as a defender or as a defensive midfielder, was crucial in the Glasgow giants’ failure to win against Hibernian.

Rangers' Dominic Ball celebrates at the end of the matchDominic Ball at Rangers

“As a group of staff and players we weren’t good enough on the day and maybe it was a game too far,” Warburton told The Daily Record while reflecting on the Scottish Cup final defeat to Hibernian.

“We also couldn’t use any of the players we had sent out on loan due to SFA rules, including Jordan Thomson, Ryan Hardie and Tom Walsh.

“They had to be registered by the semi-final and maybe that rule should be changed because surely playing young players in a cup final would be fantastic for them.

“Losing Dom Ball to suspension was also a blow. We couldn’t replace him. He would have given us that physicality in midfield. I’m not saying he would have changed the way things turned out, but he is 6ft 2 ins.”

Rangers' Dominic Ball in action with Kilmarnock's Craig Slater (L) and Greg KiltieDominic Ball in action with Craig Slater (L) and Greg Kiltie

Despite losing the Scottish Cup final to Hibernian, Rangers had a very successful 2015-16 campaign.

The Ibrox outfit won the Scottish Championship title with ease and got automatic promotion to the Scottish Premiership for the 2016-17 campaign. The Gers also clinched the Scottish Challenge Cup last season.

Rangers will be aiming to compete with Old Firm rivals Celtic for the Scottish Premiership title next season.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton celebrates at the end of the matchRangers manager Mark Warburton

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch