We hinted at this before Ayr at the weekend because it was just that important, but we’re back on it fully-fledged.
Yes, Rangers entertain Ross County, the desperate Ross County this week, on Valentine’s day, on the day we’d ‘love’ to go top of the league formally, by definitively outscoring Celtic with this being our game in hand.
So, the situation is thus:
We are currently 3 points behind and 2 goals behind.
A 3-0 win will take Rangers top of the table on goal difference, but with County as dishevelled as they currently are, there’s a prize opportunity to rattle a tonne past them and give a massive boost to Rangers’ goals scored column.
This could have been done v Aberdeen but the side was just too passive and the tactics weren’t quite good enough on the day – in the end the win was what mattered.
But against the second-bottom side in a match where the bottom-feeders are manager-less and in a state of absolute disarray there is absolutely no excuse not to find the net several times.
Once this match is complete, that’s the game in hand done and Rangers and Celtic are level on fixtures – but it would be something of a mild disaster for Rangers not to take the outright lead even if it’s only on goal difference.
We’re quite sure plenty of our fans only care about the points, but for morale and all-round boost to Philippe Clement and the previously-unthinkable pursuit of 56, getting a lot of goals and finding ourselves definitively top of the table is what we want.
No ifs, no buts, no maybes.
Rangers are a league better than any side in the SPL, especially the hapless County, who are rudderless and directionless and only headed in one direction.
Rangers simply have to be able to get a healthy number of goals against a side so badly-placed right now, and take us top.
If both Old Firm sides are level after the final match of the season, it’s goal difference again – hence it’s worth a literal point to score more goals than Celtic. And conceding fewer too is handy.
So no, on this occasion, we won’t just dismiss the score and say winning is all that matters like it does in the cup, scoring enough to be top of the table come late on Wednesday night really should be priority.
If Rangers can’t bag a bunch against a miserable side with the top of the table awaiting, it’s a very bad sign about this side’s ability under pressure.
The League Cup was great, a wonderful start, but to follow that up with being top of the league in early February would be quite the feather in Clement’s cap.
Let’s go for it.