A straw poll asking Rangers fans how our season has started would deliver a mixed response. After the humiliating Progres tie, most seemed to believe that Pedro had to win his first 4 or 5 games to survive.

That hasn’t been the case, but certain signs have suggested some real improvement. Here, we look at the first 5 league games, a decent little snapshot, to ask whether or not we’re on the right track.


The first game of the season is always a bit of a lottery. You can never be sure how well pre-season has went, and most clubs are still signing players and making changes. Whilst this wasn’t a great performance, it was a good result.

Last season, in games which were more physical, we struggled. There were a number of draws and last-minute wins, and momentum was never really built up. The overriding reaction to our opening day remembered that. The old “we wouldn’t have won that game last season” phrase was prominent, despite an argument that such faint praise is almost damning.

All things considered, it was a good start.


The game that will be forever remembered as the John Beaton Show. Just before Ryan Jack was incorrectly sent off, we had a game where both sides looked in good form. It was physical, passionate, and played at a good tempo. Either side could have won it.

And we were denied that by some awful, awful decision making by the referee. For many, he cheated us out of a good game. I’m always loathe to atrribute motive to decisions made in football matches. For everyone involved, the emotions are clouded by the physical exertions and can lead to moments of madness. It’s possible Beaton looks back on that game and has no idea why he ran it as he did. We’ll never find out, and even if he told us that, the truth is his alone to know.

But if results are the basis for judgement, then a lot of that is academic. The defeat was a sore one. There’s no way the manager or players can be blamed for how it all went, but it was points lost nonetheless. After only two games, the requirement to win the first 5 had failed to be met.

The next game became huge.


In many ways, this is the one game so far this season where we didn’t get enough from the team or manager.

It harked back to last season, where a team who sat in was something we struggled with. There were a few chances we could say were unlucky, but overall we never put Hearts under enough pressure.

Pedro had spoken before the match about the intensity of the players in training, and how he had to scale it back a little towards the end of the week. That wasn’t evident during the game. There’s a chance they either done too much during the week, or Pedro’s actions meant they went into the game in the wrong mindset.

It was also a game where the squad was questioned. An injury to Herrera meant that Ryan Hardie had to be used from the bench. Carlos Peña was still deemed to be not ready to play in a game of this type, even from the bench. We were reliant upon the first XI, and the early injury to Windass hurt our creativity and balance.

There’s been a huge turnover of players this summer, so it’s unrealistic to expect a strong squad already. It was fair, though, to wonder why Peña wasn’t ready to make an impact. I don’t think we should put pressure on that situation, but there was always going to be a focus on him.

Two home games, and only 1 point. Given the pressure he started under, surely Caixinha was in trouble?


The Alfredo Morelos breakout match.

After those two results, and a frustrating performance against Hearts, there was plenty of trepidation going into this one.

From the first minute, though, you could see we were eager to put things right. We played with far more purpose and pace, and once we’d opened the scoring, we were confident the game was going our way.

As funny as the Fox error for Morelos’ second goal was, there was plenty to be positive about. We reacted fine to the Ross County goal, with some substitutions changing the balance back in our favour. We got a better glimpse of Peña, who looked rusty but promising in terms of his movement. Our full-backs created two of the goals, something we absolutely need from them to do well.

Better Rangers squads than this one have struggled on away days at Ross County. A short spell in the second half aside, this was a comfortable win.


We needed a good win at Ibrox after the games against the Edinburgh sides. We certainly got that.

There may have been some mixed reactions to certain elements of the game, but this was a very good result alongside a strong performance. 4 goals could have been 6 or 7 without complaint. Morelos continued his scoring form, Peña got a much-needed goal, and Candeias showed that early opinions of him being a good signing are justified.

This was one of those games we used to see regularly in years gone by. The visiting side doesn’t play well, and we roll them over with seemingly little effort. We hope to see that more often this season than we have in recent years.

So overall, where do we stand? Five games isn’t many at all, but we’ve seen elsewhere that new managers can be given even less time to show signs of promise. I’m not ignoring the Progres result at all, nor the League Cup game against Dunfermline, but the focus for most is rightly the league results. If things are based upon results alone, it’s been a slow start. That could become a poor start 5 games from now if we don’t win most of what’s to come. In terms of performances, I think we’ve shown a real improvement, and suggestions of even more to come when certain players are fit enough to be involved. Somehow, the performances of players who never really impressed at Rangers, but are scoring goals elsewhere, is adding pressure. That’s a bit ludicrous in truth.

The first quarter of the season has us at home against the bigger sides. If we’re aiming to challenge, or even just finish a strong second, we’ll have to be in a good position after that. Our away form is good, but trips to Tynecastle, Easter Road, Pittodrie and Parkhead will see us drop points in any season.

I’m aware that my opinion on this can be clouded by my preference to see some stability. I still think, taking that aside, that we have positives to draw upon and Pedro deserves the chance to show what he can do this season. We haven’t made the start many felt was an absolute minimum, but a quick look at our history shows that winning the first 5 games of a season is beyond rare.

Let’s have a look again after the next 5 games. Those will give us a real indication of where we stand…

How do you feel it’s went so far? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts.