Rangers return to Ibrox on Saturday, taking on former Rangers player Neil McCann’s Dundee. Points are in much need by both sides for very different reasons, Rangers without a win in three games, sitting an unacceptable third in the table three points off Aberdeen.
Here are the 5 storylines to follow vs Dundee.
1-HOW WILL THE PLAYERS RESPOND TO MURTY?
I think it’s now fair to say that the Rangers temporary manager does not get the best out this group of players. While the talent is lacking in many areas and requires upgrading in the summer, this squad should be more than capable of gaining more points than are currently on the board.
Questions have to be asked of the man in charge, he has failed time after time to have any sort of game-altering effects on the outcome of matches. That is simply not good enough for any manager at this club.
I remain to be convinced that he commands the respect of the full squad, either that or they are even worse players than many of us fear.
I would say, however, in defence of Murty that the players have to shoulder and share the responsibility in some of the shortcomings, but give the players any excuse, and they will take it.
They just don’t play or respond to Mr Murty I’m afraid.
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2-WILL WE WIN OUR BATTLES?
Yet again on Saturday at Fir Park we lost our personal battles, this has become an all too familiar pattern, we are being outfought in key areas, losing the physical battle.
The most disappointing thing for any fan to witness is a team that gets pushed around, it displays a lack of character and toughness and while this is not aimed at all the players, it is at some.
Teams are going to be physical against us. It’s a fact we must accept and deal with, they will attempt to use physicality to make up the deficit in talent. We must and have to do a better job of standing up to the challenge presented to us, week in week out. At present, we are allowing teams to bully us and steal our lunch money.
I’m not suggesting we fly into rash or dangerous tackles, just simply stand our ground and win the physical aspect of the game, then showcase our footballing talent. Like it or not teams always have and will always raise their game vs Rangers, we must improve in this area.
3-THE RETURN OF McCRORIE
Saturday we saw young Ross McCorie take a place on the bench, a positive sign in an otherwise disappointing outing. I am no mood to rush him back into first-team action, but after Saturday’s displays at the centre of the Rangers defence, he must be in contention.
The youngster’s presence would add some much-needed pace to heart of the defence, I don’t think many fans would argue the point that Alves and Martin just have not worked together.
Ross has already shown this season just how big a player and how vital his presence is in this side. It is no coincidence to me that our downturn in form coincided with his injury.
I would ask supporters to be patient, he has been out of the side for a prolonged period of time and youngsters will always have a dip in form at some point. The aim is surely to have him back to fitness for the upcoming Scottish Cup semi-final and next season.
4-CUMMINGS IN BEHIND MORELOS
This is something I have been clamouring for a while. Cummings’ pace, work rate and ability to drive at defenders, getting them on their heels and back to goal is a sight all Rangers fans have been waiting to see.
With Josh Windass picking up a knock at Fir Park, this could be the perfect opportunity for Cummings to stake his claim for a place, not just for next week but on a permanent basis.
I don’t think we have utilised his talent or played him in roles or positions that have suited his strengths so far, he is not a lone forward player who likes to play with his back to goal.
Let’s see how he fares on Saturday if he is given a chance to shine in the advanced midfielder role, finding the pockets of space that might just be the difference between a point and all three.
5-THE HOME SUPPORT
Ibrox can be an unforgiving and hostile environment. Not every player can play for this club, for some the weight of the light blue jersey wears to heavy.
We as Rangers supporters demand, rightly so in my view, the highest standards and should never accept anything less.
On Saturday we must be patient and give this squad our full backing. This is a time when all the support must pull together in the push for second and the upcoming clashes with Celtic.
Rangers 2 Dundee 1
Have you any predictions for the game? Tweet us @steven_harrigan or @rangersnewsuk