There is no doubt Rangers’ squad looks a ‘shocking’ amount better in the past couple of weeks, as a tonne of injuries started ‘magically’ clearing up amid new manager Michael Beale’s start to life at Ibrox.
Long-term injuries now left are just five men – Ridvan, John Souttar, Filip Helander, Tom Lawrence and Ianis Hagi, and after at one point being around 15 absentees, that’s quite a difference. So let’s look now at exactly what Beale’s options are, especially for Thursday.
In goal, all three choices area available; Allan McGregor, Jon McLaughlin and Robby McCrorie.
In defence we have two fullbacks in James Tavernier and Adam Devine, while CBs are now Connor Goldson, Ben Davies, James Sands and Leon King. Borna Barisic of course remains in Qatar.
Midfield sees Glen Kamara, Steven Davis, Ryan Jack and John Lundstram lining up. We have no central midfielders and haven’t had for a long time.
Attacking midfield shows Scott Arfield, Charlie McCann, Malik Tillman and Alex Lowry vying for contention, while wings are absolutely resplendent with options; Ryan Kent, Scott Wright, Kemar Roofe, Rabbi Matondo and Fashion Sakala.
Finally, attack has Zak Lovelace, Antonio Colak and Alfredo Morelos.
In short, there are no excuses any more about injuries – we’re missing a few, yes, but there are no players on the bench who can be defined as absolute game-changers, all the players fit and healthy are enough.
McGregor, McLaughlin, McCrorie, Tavernier, Devine, Goldson, Sands, King, Davies, Davis, Lundstram, Kamara, Jack, Arfield, Tillman, Lowry, Kent, Wright, Matondo, Roofe, Sakala, Lovelace, Colak, Morelos.
We’re not saying this is the best Rangers squad we’ve ever had, but it is a TONNE better than it’s shown this season, and injuries can no longer be used as an excuse. They stopped being an excuse when Goldson and Davies were effectively posted fit.
The squad is in a much better state of health than it was two weeks ago – 25 players fit and available at Ibrox is definitely enough to be getting on with. Michael Beale now has the tools he needs and he needs to hit the ground running with them on Thursday.