Monday, 12 December 2016

Doing it against the diddies


Going into this congested seasonal fixture schedule, Rangers fans’ expectations for points haulage were modest at best. With dismal form leading into the end of the year, seeing painful draws v Ross County and Hamilton punctuated by that dreadful night at Tynecastle last Wednesday week, there seemed only a limited chance that the terrible trio of the two matches v Hearts and the clash with Aberdeen would deliver much more than a point or two.

However, despite the first one on the list ending so badly in Edinburgh, the convincing dispatches of Derek McInnes’ men before Ian Cathro’s ill-fated debut at Ibrox have shown a sudden upsurge of form, with manager Mark Warburton apparently now willing to change the shape at long last to suit the league he is in, while taking some personnel risks too. Risks, it must be added, which are paying off sweetly.

It has seen six points of nine which is far better than fans feared, and demonstrated this Rangers XI can live with the best in the league, sitting clear in second at long last.

However, this Friday sees Warbs taking his men on a road trip to the shire of Hamilton, and the venue of New Douglas Park to face a side who have already taken a point away from the last time the two met. Indeed, Martin Canning’s men, mostly bottom two or three until recently, are now midtable, if admittedly only two points above the bottom slot, with all the bottom half pretty evenly matched up till Kilmarnock in 6th with only four more than the basement side Partick.

And this is the real bread and butter for the Hat. Full plaudits to the man and his XI for turning things around these past two weeks, it has been a joy to watch Rangers put away Hearts and Aberdeen with relative ease; but Warburton has to prove he can deliver it against the diddy sides too.

The Hamiltons, Killies and Counties have been a mixed bag so far in the SPL this season for Rangers. While beating Dundee, they drew with Killie and putting away Motherwell saw Hamilton take a point. And of course beating Inverness was greeted by County nabbing a point.

A real inconsistent batch of results which has been the flow till that impressive victory against the Dons. Since then there looks to be a corner turned, a corner I still urge caution on; a large metaphorical bus could still career off and smash into everything, but as things stand it is going in the right direction.

In order to continue that, victory on Friday is the real litmus test. In truth, as midfielder Andy Halliday said last season mildly sarcastically: ‘every match these days is ‘a test’. The factuality of his statement is in no doubt and the accuracy of the sarcasm is fair too. Every match really is a test, and Rangers are constantly being judged in ways we never have before, by ourselves as much as by Scottish football. But it is equally safe to say it is tiring to see it that way. But also necessary.

Hopefully Rangers’ fine form continues against the dunces of the league as much as it has against the elite sides.

6 comments:

  1. Wait a wee minute ibrox noise!One minute warburton and rangers haven't beaten any of the top 6 in the league now still not happy that we beat aberdeen and hearts with absolute ease,we're now putting doubts in again regarding the smaller teams!!Give the club and the manager a break here for god's sake!Lets wait and see how we do against hamilton on friday instead of putting in doubts before the game.we all know,including our team and the manager that we must keep our run going,and of course that includes against any team!They deserve credit where credit is due!!Like i said on here a good few times.The judgement for us to where we are comes in may and NOT before!!

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  2. The last two games have been a welcome improvement, however it's obvious that we need a dominant centre half to play alongside Wilson. Kiernan has improved recently, but I still don't think he's a Rangers class defender. Warburton should prioritise defensive signings in the next transfer window. He's talking about signing a playmaker to replace Kranjkar, when we already have Windass and a promising Liam Burt able to play there. The priority should be to ensure that we don't give away cheap goals.Hopefully we'll keep winning,but at the moment septic fans are laughing at us. Warburton has still got to prove that he's not out of his depth.

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  3. The last two games have been inspirational and the long ball to the wings have turned opposition defences. This previously never happened or was frowned upon to such an extent that our defence was overran on many occasions.The opposition defences must now concentrate on their basics and forget the cavalier forward movements that Ranger's previous tactics let them enjoy.
    Garner is taking defenders all over the place and Waghorn had four really good chances to score against Hearts in less than 30 minutes with no-one around him.If he wasn't so damn one footed he could have scored with them all.
    Kenny's vision for setting up goal opportunities could see him prosper anywhere behind McKay, O'Halloran and Garner.
    McKay, Miller can win games without scoring. Their passing to Hodson and Dodoo for goals were delightful. Hodson is a standout for me and Joe Dodoo needs full games to prove he has great scoring ability. Lets see it happen.

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  4. Still getting carried away after two better results, nothing proved unless we manage around 7 or 8 wins on the bounce.

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  5. Exactly! Anything less than winning every match up to and including the old firm game on hogmanay will be unacceptable. That would take us to six wins on the bounce, going into the winter break and give us a reason to be optimistic. If we fail to win tomorrow night I don't want to hear Warburton make excuses about the plastic pitch or referees decisions, creating a smoke screen for not being a winner. At Rangers winning is everything and second is nowhere. His comments at yesterday's press conference claiming that second place is highly competitive is an embarrassment to the club. Warburton is too soft on the players and seems to have them thinking that as long as we scrape second place at the end of the season that they will have done well. That's not good enough for the biggest club in the country. We should finish the season at least twelve points clear of third place. Warburton is making the comments of a manager who knows he is struggling at the moment. There is a long way to go before Warburton will have done enough to justify being trusted with Rangers money, in the January transfer window.

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  6. I agree with J & DCNo1. Robert M has sated we won with ease against Hearts, didn't really see it that way buddy - but the result was the important ting. Anyway the run must continue and we should be hoping to keep the pressure on and making a gap between us and the rest.

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