The Rangers performance on Saturday was such that negatives were difficult to find. Hearts may not have been at their best, it’s fair to say. However, even Craig Levein conceded that his team was well beaten, and that 2-0 flattered them. Let’s consider some of the talking points from the day.


Before and during this match, Murty made decisions which show he’s growing in confidence. The first was the selection of the same team as played against Hamilton. He was clearly frustrated by how the team had performed overall that day. With players like Alves and Holt available again, changes could have been justified.

However, Murty is a manager who has faith in players to work things out. He stuck by the same team, and it was proven to be more than justified. That decision will also have boosted the confidence of the likes of Bates and Docherty, selected over more experienced options.

The second decision was during the game, when he asked Candeias to stay higher up the pitch. That may seem rather basic given how Hearts played, but the main threat they offered was on their left hand side. Murty was sure that Tavernier could handle it, and let Candeias sit on Berra. That decision was one of the main reasons Rangers played so well.

And lastly, there were the substitutions. This seems to be the biggest criticism fans have of Murty right now. Given performances and results, it’s worth a bit of debate.

The team were playing well, but there was no doubt Morelos and Windass weren’t having much joy. Their effort and movement still caused issues, but they weren’t looking like ever scoring on the day. The easy choice for the manager was to bring on Miller and Cummings. The latter was brought on, but the manager showed faith in the team that was playing so well as a unit.

I understand the frustrations around late substitutions. It may be an area Murty needs to improve upon. While performances and results are strong, though, it’s fair to suggest it may be somewhat fickle of the fans.


Saturday was a game that could be seen as quite frustrating. Hearts were difficult to break down and Rangers were missing chances. Usually, that would result in the fans becoming restless. Results at home this season would indicate that our players don’t handle that very well.

But such was the nature of the performance that the fans stayed positive, and the team seemed to thrive on that. Watching Greg Docherty impress as he did, or seeing just how well Murphy and Candeias were playing, was exciting the support. Yes, Josh Windass was getting some stick where others would be praised, but that seems to be the way of it for him just now. From the majority of the match, the crowd was engaged and supportive. That’s reflective of recent improved performances.


It’s worth expanding upon the Windass point above. He didn’t have a great game, despite some moments of good play. When a player misses the sort of chances he did, he’s bound to be criticised. What does seem apparent, though, is that he’s given more stick than most. Other players missed good chances or made poor decisions, and sometimes they would be applauded for the effort.

For all his inconsistency, and all his faults, Windass has been great of late. Under the sort of scrutiny he clearly is, far more experienced players have wilted at Rangers. Hopefully, this game will be the blip rather than the norm for the rest of the season.


Personally, I think the league will be just beyond us this season. With only 10 games to go, 9 points and a significant deficit in goal difference makes it unlikely. Add to that the fact that we’ve still to prove a level of consistency, and it’s easy to see why I think that way.

However, it’s a damn nice feeling to be even dreaming about it at this stage, given everything. We’d have to win all 10 games in the league from now, and then the pressure would really be on Celtic.

What is it they say, it’s the hope that kills us? In our case, it’s a very welcome emotion…