Last Sunday saw Rangers turn in one of the best performances of the season so far, thumping Ayr United 6-1 in the Scottish Cup. The type of football on show was arguably the best we have seen under Murty, irrespective of the opposition. We as Rangers fan’s know all too well how difficult games and conditions like Sunday can be.

Rangers, return to Scottish Premiership action this Sunday with a clash against Hamilton, who currently sit in 11th, occupying the play off place, 3 points off bottom. Points are vital for both sides for differing reasons.

Here are the 5 storylines to follow:


Sunday’s Scottish Cup clash with Ayr seen both Morelos and Cummings not only play together but both getting amongst the goals, all positive despite the language barrier between the two.

It was a pairing that clearly has some way to go but all signs are encouraging, playing time will only serve to enhance the understanding of each other’s tendencies, runs and movements.

I won’t lie this pairing excites me, two hungry young players that won’t give defenders a minutes peace, both can also finish and create space for each other.


Sunday will also see all eyes focused on Greg Docherty, after his first start on Sunday.  This, of course, will be a ground where Docherty is familiar with the surroundings having plied his trade at New Douglas Park (or whatever its called now), before sealing his dream move, just a few weeks ago.

Docherty certainly showed in flashes on Sunday the ability he possesses, doing it on a contestant basis will be the challenge ahead for him. I think we have the makings of a very good midfielder here, something Hamilton should take a great deal of pride in as well.


I have a sneaky feeling Sunday may just come too soon for Bruno Alves to be back in real contention, with David Bates performing at an impressively high level in the Portuguese players’ absence, competition for places is tight with little or no room for error.

Alves has made no secret of his desire to play at this summer’s World Cup, before he can even contemplate that he must dislodge the ginger Maldini at the heart of Rangers defence.

Bates has been highly impressive and his development may be more vital to Rangers in the long term, than an aging superstar or his ego. One thing that is certain is that Bates performances will have to remain at the same level to stave of the threat of a fit-again Alves, the way it should be at a big club.

Bates contract is up in the summer and has surely earned himself an improved deal, he would be wise to turn down the advance of more lucrative offers, with Rangers offering him the opportunity of playing time, that will only further enhance his development. Moving too soon is a mistake we have all seen far over and over again.


I know, it’s an easy excuse and cop out but there is no question the surface plays a role in the outcome of the game. In everything from the bounce of the ball to the slickness of the surface, especially with Sunday expected to be a wet day.

Rangers struggled to get to grips with a similar surface at Rugby Park before the turn of the year, Sunday’s game could give an indication of where this current group of players are at.


I have been saying for weeks I felt Jamie Murphy has been our best player making a huge difference to our side.

Last Sunday’s match at Ayr seen him grab a well-deserved goal for his display, with match sharpness now picking up I think we can really expect him to provide both the ammunition and goals a player of his undoubted ability holds.

Murphy’s touch and running with the ball have been a joy to watch, all this with the player not having played a great deal of first football in recent months.


Hamilton 0-3 Rangers.

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@steven_harrigan or @rangersnewsuk.