Rangers’ return to winning ways on Saturday was not without ardour, and while the performance was marginally better than the dross we witnessed at Hamilton, the ‘response’ as Tom Miller and Kevin Thomson rightly put it was simply not the level we expected.
While Steven Davis bossed the match like a pro, and Ryan Jack’s steady hands kept the backdoor fairly unthreatened (not to mention his sizzling strike), it has to be said far far too many of this Rangers team are sleepwalking to 55.
We’ll still win it, yes, we will still win 55 – there is no stopping Rangers.
But it’s more than a touch disappointing to see only a portion of the starters actually looking like they care, or even worse, picking and choosing when they do.
Joe Aribo was a huge culprit in that first half – the man barely moved. No off-ball work, little enthusiasm and his lack of guts and effort were palpable. A bit better in the second half thank God.
In truth, Ryan Kent wasn’t far behind him, in an uncharacteristically flat and meek offering, while both full backs continued to rather sleepwalk as they have the past month.
Indeed, only Hagi, Jack, Davis and the starved Itten appeared present and alert for this one, which is disappointing to say the least.
Scott Wright injected a major dose of energy, and we’ll get to that later, but while we’re obiously thrilled with the win and the three points, the lethargy and downright apathy of these players is starting to grate, and too few look truly like they care.
It wasn’t rubbish, but it was far from great, and but for returning Davis and Jack, and the guts of Hagi and Itten, this one might well have been more dropped points from many players who look like they don’t care.
Are they scared? Maybe.
But they have big challenges to come and they need to bring their balls to this otherwise better teams than Killie will have joy against us.