CHRIS SUTTON, the former Celtic striker, believes manager Mark Warburton’s job could be at risk should Rangers lose their next two games. The Ibrox side take on Championship leaders Queen of the South at home in the Betfred Cup this evening, before travelling to Pittodrie on Sunday for a potentially incendiary Premiership match against Aberdeen.

Sutton, now a pundit with BT Sport, had been critical of Warburton’s comments following Rangers’ goalless draw with Ross County at the weekend, stating on air that “the job was too big for him”. Now he believes the Englishman could be out of a job within the week if the next two results go against his side.

“I think [tonight] is a huge game for Mark Warburton,” said Sutton. “I think it’s a game that Rangers have to win. It’s hugely significant, all the more because Rangers then have Aberdeen on the Sunday.

“If we’re being honest, when the draw was made for the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup, you would’ve said “good ties for Rangers and Celtic”. But then Queen of the South are a team who have done particularly well this season and certainly surprised me. A loss-loss scenario [for Rangers] — and I think the question would certainly be asked if he could survive that.”

Sutton was also critical of the way Warburton handled the situation with Joey Barton, the midfielder suspended from the club for the next three weeks following a training ground spat last Tuesday. Sutton felt that other managers would have nipped it in the bud at the time.

He added: “I’ve already described it as weak management from Mark Warburton and I still stand by that. The Barton situation has got completely out of hand. He should’ve dealt with it on the Tuesday, there and then. It wouldn’t have happened under Walter Smith or my old manager Martin O’Neill. It would’ve been dealt with “bang, done”. Sacked, fined, or suspended — but it would’ve been clear.”

Warburton responded to Sutton’s weekend criticism by saying he would not get worked up over people he did not respect. “As manager of Glasgow Rangers and an individual, I am not going to get embroiled in spats with so-called pundits. I am not going to lower the position of the club. I was always told that you only value the opinions of people for whom you have any iota of respect. Therefore, I have absolutely zero interest in that opinion.”

- BT Sport is the home of the Betfred League Cup. Watch Rangers v Queen of the South tonight, exclusively live on BT Sport 1 from 7:15pm.