It’s crunch time at Ibrox


Well this is it. It really is crunch time for Mark Warburton’s Rangers in its fledgling campaign to get back to the Premiership, and last night another piece of the jigsaw came into effect when Dundee confirmed themselves, at a canter, as Rangers’ quarter final opponents in the Scottish Cup on March 5th.

And when I say ‘crunch time’, the last fixture of February and the entire month of March is by some distance the most testing period of Warbs’ maiden season at Ibrox.

At a glance, St Mirren come to Govan, followed by fixtures against Raith, Dundee, Morton, Falkirk and, once again, Queen of the South. Hibs would have been in there too but for that clash to be moved for broadcast purposes.

Looking at that glut of matches, there really is no ‘easy’ one at all. No Dumbartons, Alloas or Livingstons. It is all tough upper Championship and Premiership opponents, and it is far and away the biggest and most valid test yet for this Rangers squad’s Premiership credentials.

Six meaty matches, including that cup quarter final, which will probably define whether or not Warbs’ outfit has the guts within it to take that step up into the top tier of Scottish football.

Fans have been far from happy with displays recently, with even results themselves rather underwhelming; thus this tricky upcoming patch could have picked a better time to begin.

But if we want to see what this team is really made of, they will have to start answering the difficult questions the likes of Dundee and Falkirk will undoubtedly pose.

Warburton himself is also under the microscope – after being disappointed with the team’s performance against the Doonhamers, he needs to lift them up, and show that he can do that, and get his side ticking along again – because a great number of questions are once again being asked about the quality of the squad and his ability to manage hard games.

And having six in a row is the most illustrative example of what both he and this squad is able to deliver.

Naturally, of course, all discussion of Rangers’ Premiership credentials does take summer changes in the squad into consideration, and the notion that some improvements will be made to cater for the step up. But chairman Dave King and Warburton have gone on record as stating this existing squad has been built for immediate graduation to Scotland’s top flight – that they wanted to bring in players ‘ready’ for the SPL.

And while that probably is not completely 100% accurate (expect further additions of a higher quality this summer), it certainly is not too far off, so this team has to show it is capable against sides the calibre of the next six Rangers are up against.

It will be an intriguing period, a testing time, and ultimately if Rangers still have a reasonable lead at the top of the Championship come the end of it, a valuable one.

But it is up to the players and the manager to deliver that.


  1. Their will be summer changes to the squad. We have the nucleus of an SPFL winning team. We need a few key pieces to complete the jigsaw puzzle.

  2. why you beating about the bush,,the transfer budget promised by dave king was not delivered,,i am begining to have doubts about the people running our club,

    • I can`t believe their is still fans moaning about the board not doing enough.The whole club needed transformed maintenance, murray park, debt,management team,which has taken money.
      I for one am happy with progress,see how season pans out. watp

  3. The league is finished,an average of 2 pts a game will win it,Rangers have averaged just over 2.5 points a game so far,the cup is different,not signing Michael O`Halloran before he was cup-tied was a ridiculous decision.

  4. 5/6 are at ibrox though so we will be fine. Only away game is at falkirk, which will be a tough one but we will be out for revenge after they beat us there last time out.

  5. Plastic pitches are behind us now so I expect a marked improvement in the team especially at home for the next few games

  6. Fink warbs has got to stick with the same starting front 3 for nxt few games so they get use to playin together for the runin i would go with mckay his usual left ohallaren right n kenny up top n rather than playin way 2 wingers n throwin aimless cross balls in wud like to c them takin on men n cuttin inside havin a dig rather than passin aw the time n also get closer way miller for 1 2s in n around the box thats the problem the now not enuf support through the middle for the striker .against dundee ohallaren n kings cup tied so obv need to change it for that gme mayb forrester filling in on the right. I here warbs always sayin lk at our bench we have quality on it bt wen things arnt goin gd on the park with our strngest 11 i struggle to c any1 cumin off the bench n changin a gme. The likes of shiels,zelalem,clark,law,ball n bell wer all on bench on sun n none will b with us for nxt season cos theyre not gd enuf so in my opinion thers no depth in the squad. N all the young player put out in loan says to me theyre not gd enuf. I feel in january the most important positions we needed player was a centre haf, defensive mid n a out n out striker in case waggy got injured we got none now look waggys nearly out till end of season n no 1 gd enuf to fill that position ,a jst hope we get away with it cum the end of the season.

  7. There is no money to bring in higher quality players for the SPFL………surely by now it's clear.

    Some of next season's ticket money has already been used to pay off Ashley's loan.

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