There’s no understating the importance of Wednesday.
Rangers’ trip to Easter Road will be the definitive and proper demonstration of whether this calendar year is the first time for as long as we can remember that the Famous have returned from the winter break and kicked on.
Dumbarton was promising. It really was.
It wasn’t not a polished, stunning match of football – with Storm Isha doing her rounds before Monday’s peak, the conditions in West Dumbartonshire were utterly horrendous.
Monsoon rain, howling winds, and a pitch that cut up from the first whistle meant that this one wasn’t going to be great performances all round – but what we did want to see was effort.
And not a single player travelling to this dismal back end of Scottish football shirked their responsibilities, or showed anything other than heart.
And that is where Wednesday comes in.
With that promising intro in the cup, the real test of a higher standard of opponent comes at a tricky venue with a former league rival now just standard antagonist.
And with Rangers’ historic winter blues well-documented by fans, this midweek will be a chance for the players to demonstrate a bit of quality as well as the heart they showed slightly north west of Glasgow at the weekend.
Because Hibs are just a better team, and Easter Road is a hostile venue, and for the winter blues jinx to be overcome, a reasonable performance and result (or better) is the least we’d ask for.
Rangers fans have been frustrated for years by how badly the side returns from the winter break – this year saw something a bit more promising in the cup and we’d love to see that sustained against Hibs.
Come out of Easter Road with a good performance and result, and maybe just maybe Philippe Clement has cracked that hoodoo and we can look forward to something of a decent run.
And the historic winter stutter might just be a memory.