So attention now does properly turn to tomorrow, and the visit of Spanish cracks Real Betis, managed by the wily Manuel Pellegrino.
Ibrox Noise’s Derek has done an epic three-part preview, where he believes Rangers have a chance.
Rangers always have a chance, even up against Manchester City, but getting the cards to fall right and actually being good enough on the day to take that chance is a lot less likely.
The harsh reality is that Rangers’ abominably soft centre, made worse by the loss of Nico Raskin to injury not to mention Todd Cantwell likewise, means that the likes of Isco are going to have a field day tomorrow.
Ibrox Noise polled our readers to gauge predictions, and the results were telling. While there was some optimism among the audience that Rangers could get a win, the majority didn’t feel that positivity at all.
Betis are no Barcelona, indeed they got absolutely routed by them at the weekend, but they are still substantially better than Rangers, and have a squad worth infinitely more.
10th in the table at present is nothing to be sniffed at, and they earned their crack at Europe by finishing highly last season in 6th, in arguably the world’s second-strongest domestic league.
Whereas Rangers finished a distant second in the league and plummeted to the UEL by way of the UCL parachute. And that was with a stronger squad than we have today.
And that weaker squad today is now itself decimated by injury as well, with Beale’s best two outfield signings, Cantwell and Raskin, currently unavailable.
So it’s not exactly all-singing all-dancing is it?
We’re just being honest – Derek has done a great job of tactically showing where Betis’ weaknesses are, and how we could exploit that with the tools we have, but our manager has shown no nous on the big occasions and hasn’t learned much at all from his past fails.
Add to that the injuries and his bad signings, and while Derek shrewdly predicts a 2-0, the rest of us are a lot less optimistic.
We just hope it isn’t too rough an evening.