As Rangers find their form in the race for 55, there’s one aspect of the team and club which is sorely missing.
Ever since 2012, Rangers may have stumbled back to their feet but the only reason why this institution still has blood running through its veins is because of the supporters which held it up.
Rangers fans have been incredible over the last decade, with the loyalty, ambition and determination of a support wounded by failure and ridicule the true foundation of Rangers’ early success this season.
Now, with Steven Gerrard’s squad looking more and more like title contenders, the Covid-19 induced lock-out has given Rangers’ form a tinge of irony.
Whilst hindsight and retrospect are wonderful things, there’s no real telling if the fact that games being played out without crowds has bolstered Rangers this season or not.
By the same token, there’s no way to tell if this has hampered our rivals across the city, even if our rampant form amid the shut-out points to a greater degree of professionalism in Govan.
But what is true is that the unforgiving Ibrox crowd, spoiled in the past with world-class talent and glorious success, would not have given any player an inch with so much riding on this season.
There are two sides to the demanding aspect of being a Rangers player; one the suggestion that bluenoses can be too harsh and the other the notion that those who can’t handle it, don’t deserve the jersey.
Whatever the case, Rangers this season have looked a determined, focused beast and a completely different animal to that of Steven Gerrard’s first two years in charge.
Playing in front of empty stands has allowed the Ibrox team to find their feet in a pressurised season with the advantage certainly with Rangers at this juncture.
But what if fans were to return?
Would an expectant crowd at Ibrox demand more of a team already giving plenty? Would it damage that defensive concentration which has been the fulcrum of our early success?
By the same token, would packed away grounds, heightened by a desperation to halt our title charge, stop us in our path?
It’s hard to tell, but there’s a feeling by the time supporters return to grounds things might not be as frosty at Ibrox, and not just because we’ve left the cold dark winter to emerge in a new, bright Spring.
With some positive news about a vaccine, we might yet get to find out if it’ll affect us this season after all as Rangers finally look to mount a serious challenge for that 55th league trophy.