Monday, 27 April 2015

Have Rangers blown promotion?

Prior to the weekend, Rangers had a one point lead over Hibs. All the Ibrox men had to do was win at home v Falkirk and keep the destiny of the playoffs in their own hands.

With the increased momentum gained from the stewardship of Stuart McCall, the team was achieving something akin to consistency, and continuing that vein and finishing the season second would see a playoff v the winner of third v fourth, likely Hibs and QoS respectively.

Unfortunately an incompetent display in Govan on Saturday put paid to controlling our own fate, and indeed the home side were extremely fortune to escape with a point, given the visiting Bairns, while not especially impressive as a team, nevertheless took advantage of inept defending (again) to nick two goals and looked all intents and purposes like they would travel home with all three points.

Two late finishes from Vuckic then Law ensured that did not transpire, but the overall result poured seriously cold water on promotion chances.

Unless Falkirk manage another victory (or even a draw) at Easter Road next week (not impossible) and Rangers manage to scrape a win at Tynecastle (unlikely), the boys in blue will be facing a three-team playoff.

And that makes promotion extremely unlikely.

The first opponents would be Queen of the South. Rangers simply have not got a clue how to play them, and credit to James Fowler who has outfoxed every Rangers team to visit Palmerston in recent times. Indeed, the unconvincing 4-2 win last August aside, Rangers have not beaten the Doonhamers once, and frankly Fowler’s men have the Indian sign over them.

He outwitted McCoist, matched (arguably outwitted) McDowall, and took McCall too.

Fowler knows how to handle Rangers.

If Rangers manage the unlikely and beat QoS over those two legs (yes, it is a two-legged affair), then they must do likewise with Hibs. Yes, Rangers were very impressive at Easter Road, but form has been patchy of late with two draws in the past four matches. While there has been a sign of real improvement, it has been sporadic.

So Rangers will have to overcome an admittedly choke-worthy Hibs who have a bad habit of flubbing their lines on the big occasions. This one is probably more achievable than Queens.

But then the final final. The clash with whoever finishes second bottom of the SPL – and that looks like being Motherwell.

Rangers’ record post-2012 v SPL teams outwith Celtic and Dundee Utd reads five wins and just one loss, to Inverness. It is actually a decent record and shows Rangers’ SPL experience seems to rise to the big occasions.

So if the Gers do manage to get through those first two ties, the omens are actually on their side.

But that is the brutal irony. Getting to the final is going to be much harder than the final itself.

We will find out over the next few weeks what character this Rangers team is furnished with.


  1. I think there's a good chance that we have blown it. Before Saturday I thought we could beat any of the teams we'll be playing in the next few weeks, especially at Ibrox. However, after that display, I'm no so confident. We're certainly capable of beating any of them, but It all depends on what Rangers team turns up on the day.

  2. In a word..... Naw.

    Making it difficult and if it happens it'll be the hard way that's for sure. We still have it in us for sure.....but with McCulloch and Miller in the team we certainly have it in us to fuck it up.


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