We asked for a reaction and we got one.
Maybe it was the chairman being in attendance? Maybe it was a potential manager in the away dugout ? , or maybe the players realised they owed the loyal fans a big performance? Whatever it was, I’ll take more of that on Sunday and going forward please.
Pre game the conversation was all about Murtys selection and tactics. Dropping Candaias to the bench and bringing back Alves into the centre of defence alongside Wilson pushing the impressive McCrorie into a midfield holding role. Also coming into the side to play behind the interchanging Miller and Windass was Carlos Pena, a player Murty had deemed not worthy of even sending out to warm up at Dens Park on Friday. Murty also tucked the full backs in at times, narrowing the space the Aberdeen attack had to run into.
With Morelos failing a fitness test, the big question was who would provide the attacking threat and the focal point up top.
Not to worry. Murty got his selection and tactics spot on , the diamond in the centre of the park playing closer together than anything seen in previous weeks. Aberdeen , playing a back three , left plenty of space for the Rangers attackers to exploit.
The opening 40 minutes was as well as Rangers have played all season, keeping a tempo up that the Dons had no answer for. When the penalty came it was nothing more than Rangers play had deserved. Pena added a second just before the half with his signature timed run into the box , and a tidy finish. The second half was a scrappy affair at times with the pace of the game dropping dramatically. It was Rangers however that were to strike the final blow with Tavernier grabbing his second of the night, adding to his penalty, after a nice move down the right hand side.
The young McCorie was outstanding all night, closing down any threat and thrusting himself into challenges in a performance that showed just how important he is for Rangers going forward. Bruno Alves, again, was every inch the player who has won 94 international caps. It really is night and day in the Gers rear guard when the big man plays, providing such a presence and leadership skills we badly lack elsewhere, he might not win everything in the air but he is invaluable to the side at present.
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There was also assured and confident performances from Jack and Windass. Hopefully this acts as a building block for the latter in particular and we start to see that level on a more consistent basis.
That was the kind of performance that makes you question why this Rangers side are so far off the pace in the league. The biggest task for the incoming manager will be trying to find the level of showing and consistency that has eluded his predecessors.
In the short term, same again on Sunday will do just nicely.