The Rangers team must overcome serious questions regarding their mentality as they look to halt yet another unthinkable Celtic treble by lifting the Scottish Cup.
After the Parkhead side won four trebles on the bounce to equal Rangers’ world-record seven treble haul, letting our Old Firm rivals overtake us is both unthinkable and an increasingly likely threat.
Ange Postecoglou’s team have been reluctantly relentless on domestic soil this season whilst Rangers have routinely underperformed and find themselves nine points behind in the Premiership.
Despite having two Old Firms to come, and no surrender being the battle cry from within the Ibrox dressing room, that three game pre-World Cup collapse v St Mirren, Livingston and St Johnstone didn’t just cost Giovanni van Bronckhorst his job, but it looks to have cost us another title.
Couple that with this Rangers team failing to show up against Celtic in the League Cup Final defeat at Hampden, despite plenty of hot air heading into the fixture, and the summer continues to loom large.
Everyone inside Ibrox, from the boardroom to the dressing room, have routinely tried to dine out on 55 and the Europa League Final run amid a worrying downturn over the last 18 months.
But for supporters desperate for consistent success, those soundbites are firmly falling on deaf ears with the focus on delivering for the club now and now only.
Failure to retain the Scottish Cup threatens to derail the summer before we even reach it.
Rangers tasked with halting unthinkable Celtic treble
After winning four trebles on the bounce, Rangers let slip their chance to overtake Celtic domestically last summer and now find themselves ominously behind their rivals on the pitch and off it.
Michael Beale and Ross Wilson have a major job this summer rebuilding a team who can realistically challenge our financially superior rivals but it is certainly not impossible.
Before then, this squad of players who have run a strong race for the club at times but regularly floundered at the final hurdle must repay the debt they owe to the club’s supporters.
Drop 55, the Europa League Final run and the Scottish Cup soundbites now, and protect the club’s history and future by stopping Celtic in their tracks as they close in on a fifth treble in seven seasons.
After they dumped Hearts 3-0 at Tynecastle, it’s clear there is no-one but Rangers capable of doing so and if this group cannot muster one final trophy then they risk leaving Ibrox with their legacies shot to pieces.
A potential Scottish Cup Final date at Hampden promises to be a last hurrah for several in this squad and success in it could fundamentally define their careers at the club.
For many fans, it could be the difference between a goodbye and good riddance.
Meanwhile, Rangers are beginning to see flashes of the once £50m-rated Todd Cantwell.