Rangers manager Mark Warburton feels Gers fans are now seeing the real Niko Kranjcar after he worked his way up to full fitness.

Kranjcar joined Rangers earlier this summer from American side New York Cosmos and received criticism for his early performances, as he struggled to cope with the pace of the game and looked out of sorts.

But the Croatian has built up his match fitness and, having starred in Saturday's 7-0 friendly demolition of Linfield, Warburton thinks Kranjcar is reaping the rewards of his hard work.

Warburton, who has always backed the midfielder's quality, told his club's site: "We know what Niko has got and technically he has outstanding ability and technically there are no doubts.

"Niko has worked so hard on his fitness and he was struggling a bit early and so was I and the rest of the team because we knew how hard he was working to get fit", the Rangers manager explained.


"Going away to New York and then coming back his timescales were slightly different but he has worked so very hard and you are now seeing over the last two weeks that he has come on and had a real impact, which we wanted."

Kranjcar got on the scoresheet in Rangers' win over Linfield and now heads into the Old Firm clash against Celtic next weekend in fine fettle.

However, it remains to be seen whether Warburton will choose to hand the former QPR man a start against Brendan Rodgers' men in what is sure to be a high tempo, high intensity game.