Over the last ten or so years, Rangers supporters have endured plenty of painful nights in their devotion to the Ibrox club.

From woeful results in the lower leagues and domestic cups to Old Firm hammerings and European embarrassments, for a long time, it appeared as if there would be no end to this turgid ascent.

Some of the worst results in Rangers’ history have taken place this decade and there’s a lot of pain which lingers from many of them, even if much of it has been blocked out.

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Rangers supporters are a long way away from East Fife at Ibrox. (Picture by Mark Runnacles/GettyImages)

But over the course of the last eighteen months, Rangers have undoubtedly begun to rise again.

And I mean to truly rise again; on and off the field. No false dawns, no magic hats, no cheesy soundbites or charlatan businessmen.

As a support we are being rewarded for our loyalty and we have a team which, at the very least, we can begin to be proud of.

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Rangers sit here a couple of days from a Cup Final against our greatest rivals. We sit two points off them in the most competitive league season in eight years. We have a chance to reach the Europa League knockout stages.

Only two years ago all of this seemed nigh on impossible, even if we’d convinced ourselves otherwise.

As the club trudged its way back up Scotland’s lower leagues we watched on as we were ridiculed, embarrassed and humiliated.

It was painful; it still is.

Mark Warburton was powerless to resist as we were swept away 5-1 by Celtic back in 2016. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

So when we slip up against an Aberdeen away, when our players have an off-night and it does not go to plan, we must try and grab some perspective.

Look how far Rangers have come. What the club is trying to achieve is unprecedented in world football.

The baby is often thrown from the bathwater because of what the club’s supporters have been through collectively.

We want to believe that this our year, we want to believe that we can achieve something special.

 

We want redemption.

This is why when we drop two points and Celtic earn them, it hurts so much.

The expectancy is driving us forward but it is generating a pressure than can be felt from Ibrox, down Paisley Road West, to every ground in the country, all the way into our homes.

We care, it’s what we do.

Rangers now have a team which is capable of competing across multiple competitions. A young side full of British and international talent who’ve taken to our club the way we have to many of them.

We also have a manager who is a footballing figure of international renown, who’s own humility and respect for our history has been a driving force in bringing us to this point.

Steven Gerrard, Gary McAllister and the rest of the backroom team have restored a pride and identity back to Rangers. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

This group of players and the management team wants this just as much as we do and they deserve not just our support, but our respect.

Naturally, nerves are palpable heading into Sunday after we bottled it in Pittodrie. Of course they are.

We are about to enter the proverbial Lions Den with the promise of a trophy positioned against destabilising the dominance of our only true domestic rival.

But Rangers as a support has a responsibility to understand this pressure and use it to our advantage.

Rangers supporters can feel success getting closer after years of pain on and off the park. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

As much as the players have got to learn from results such as the one against Aberdeen, we have got to dust ourselves down quickly and assume position for an assault which is being fought at a financial disadvantage.

The odds have been stacked against for close to 10 years. This Sunday we have an opportunity to truly begin to put that right.

Strike up the drum, get the battle fever on, let’s show them that this is far from over.

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