Rangers might’ve ambled through their League Cup quarter-final with Dundee, but when Aberdeen were pulled out of the hat for the Hampden semi-final there would’ve been a few hearts beating in the support.
The Gers appears to be hanging on by a thread at this juncture with a number of key first-team players out of the side and the team seriously not playing well.
It’s got plenty setting a target to get to the winter break and amid the disjointed run of form and the consistent injury problems Rangers fans will be glad to know they don’t play Aberdeen until after the game stops for the World Cup.
Rangers will face Aberdeen and Celtic will play Kilmarnock in the League Cup semi-finals at Hampden on the weekend of the 14th and 15th of January.
Rangers to dodge Aberdeen League Cup clash amid run of injuries
The Dons like to treat Rangers as their most serious rivals and fans will still be scarred from that League Cup semi-final of 2018, defined by Lewis Ferguson’s header and an Umar Sadiq dive.
Things might be slightly different since then – Rangers are now managed by Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Aberdeen by Jim Goodwin for starters – but the match promises to be a bruising and intense affair.
At present, Rangers don’t exactly look like a bruising and intense side.
The club’s lacklustre displays and the mounting pressure is clearly having an impact on a confidence ravaged side and the boos rang out around Ibrox at full-time against Dundee.
Speaking after the match, manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst empathised with the fans and admitted he was also unhappy with the showing.
“They are right, I wasn’t happy either,” said van Bronckhorst [Rangers].
“When you play well you get the applause, but when you don’t play well at a club like Rangers they should boo you.
“We need to know and feel that the performance in the last half an hour is not good enough and we need to improve.
“We’re through to the semi-finals, but we cannot be happy with the performance. We needed to rotate and it is positive we are through to the semi-final, but I’m not happy with the way we played.
“We have some injuries so we need to keep everyone fresh. Everyone needs to perform and play well when they come in. It’s not always easy when you haven’t played a lot of games, I know that. Still, when you play for Rangers in these moments you have to be there and perform. That’s what we need to improve.”
But whilst Rangers v Aberdeen in the League Cup is after Christmas, there is one game between the sides to come as the Gers look to get to the World Cup break in one piece.