Derek Ferguson’s comments on Steven Gerrard and his start were complimentary, but they came with a warning.
The Liverpool legend has made a sensational start to life as Rangers manager. Qualifying for the Europa League and putting in good displays against Aberdeen, Kilmarnock, and St Mirren domestically has made it a strong start.
There is one stat that does bug those connected with the club however, and that’s that Rangers have won just one league game in four. Counting the Betfred Cup win over Killie and it’s two from five domestic matches.
The latest result, a 1-0 defeat at Celtic Park, has left the Gers seven points behind Hearts and four behind Celtic.
Ferguson, who played for the club between 1983 and 1990, knows more than most the expectations required at Ibrox.
Speaking in the Daily Record, the former Rangers midfielder has claimed that even already, there is no room for error.
“The management duo are shrewd cookies and are good football men – they won’t tolerate slackness.
“Which is why they should be able to take a maximum 15 points from their next five league matches. I believe it is entirely possible to do that.
“If Rangers are going to challenge Celtic at the top then they need to win them all. This will be the real tester for Rangers. The first quarter of the season will be over by then and I think Rangers will be in a decent and challenging position.”
No arguments here
You can’t argue with Ferguson here. If Rangers are to mount a serious title-challenge this season, they need to go on an impressive run of form.
Last season, too many sides pitched up at Ibrox and took maximum points with ease. The likes of Hamilton, Kilmarnock, Celtic, Hibs and St Johnstone all arrived in Govan and took the spoils. It looks as though that won’t be the case this season, and Gerrard should be commended for that. Yet if there is to be a title-mount, consistency is so key.
The last time Rangers won five Premiership games in a row was in the early stages of the 2011-2012 campaign. That’s a total of seven years. Granted, Rangers weren’t in the top league for four of them, but it’s still a stat that could do with being sorted.
Interestingly, Celtic also failed to win more than three games in a row last season. If they beat St Mirren they’ll have broken that stat too, but it shows how many slip-ups they have in them.
Beating Dundee this weekend simply has to be the start of a big winning run if a title-challenge is on this season.
It’s probably not Gerrard’s remit. Ensuring Celtic don’t get 10 league titles in a row is of vital importance and that’s why he’s been brought in.
But you get the feeling Gerrard’s sights are higher than second this season. If that’s the case, Ferguson is spot on, and a winning run is essential.