Rugby Park – Kilmarnock : Saturday lunchtime, Rangers attempted to get back to winning ways. This would see Murty take charge for the first time since being named in the role until the seasons end at least.

Pre-match, Murty went with two changes Bates and Hodson coming in for the suspended Jack and Alves, who I’m sorry to say is beginning to look like a player on the decline, failing again to play 3 games in a row.

The formation seemed more defensive minded, possibility with last weekend’s display still fresh in the mind of the manager.Murty giving respect at the same time to the wingers of Kilmarnock, and the threat they pose from wide areas. Pushing John further up the park was most likely a two-fold decision, not only does it allow John to run at players, but also provided added cover in dealing with stopping crosses from the problematic left-hand side.

The opening quarter of an hour was a rather scrappy affair with Kilmarnock looking the more dangerous side, despite a decent chance from Josh Windass going a miss. Rangers were struggling to gain any sort of foothold in the game, the more attacking players looking increasingly isolated.

Tavernier could himself more than a little fortunate on the 23-minute mark, when already on a booking, he brought down Jones once more in strikingly similar fashion, again getting caught far to square with his man showing up his defensive shortcomings we have all become accustomed to.

Mulumbu was the starting point for everything that was good about Kilmarnock, bossing the game from the centre of the park using his physical presence to dominate the Rangers midfield in the engine room.

Then on 38 minutes like a gift from Santa a Rangers goal, very much against the run of play but it’s goals, not possession that counts. Rangers first real quality passage of play, resulting in Windass crossing from right-hand side, with Declan John timing his run to perfection and finishing it neatly into the far corner first time.

There can be little doubt the goal seemed to galvanize us, not surprisingly the players seemed to take a massive lift from it, rather unlucky not to add a second before the interval from a teasing Declan John cross, Morelos just unable to connect with.

The second half started like so many have this season with the opposition looking brighter earlier, making it clear they were going to try and exploit the flanks and get crosses into the box. This is something teams have used frustratingly against us to good effect this season.

Kris Boyd nearly made his old side pay, not just once but twice in quick succession forcing a couple fine saves by Foderingham after slack defending. Shortly after it was the woodworks turn to save the Gers, again another cross from wide areas was met only the post stopping the equaliser.

Murty must have been concerned at the amount and level of chances the home side was creating at this stage.

Windass really should have put the game beyond doubt on the hour mark, heading over when it seemed easier to score after a fine cross by the up until that stage, poor Candeias.This was the first chance for the Ibrox men in the second half.

Rangers were really leading a charmed life at this stage, wave after wave of Kilmarnock attack mostly all from wide areas and balls into the box. What was required was a someone to take responsibility and take control of the game, slow the tempo down and regain some shape.

Rangers looked to have seen out the worst of it, Kilmarnock being left to rue the chances passed up, but as Rangers fans know all too well, don’t turn your back on Kris Boyd. Hodson and Bates culpable of going to sleep from a simple ball over the top, Brothy latched on crossing for Boyd to finish from close range.

If that was bad it got worse in every way just 2 minutes later. Rangers failing again to deal with the simplest of balls thrown up, and like last week failing to get the second ball. The impressive Mulumbu picking it up, driving and taking aim then Kilmarnock got the stroke of luck that had deserted them so often in the match, the shot hitting Boyd who instinctively directed it past Foderingham.

Simply put you can’t continually play this bad and inept and expect to win football matches.

Good to see the board and players are acting as one, writing off this season as a lost cause before Santa has delivered his sack is a sad indictment of all involved at our club currently.

Murty was outcoached, and that is not his fault his opposite number having years of top-level experience that he has to simply learn on the job. On this showing it’s a job he won’t hold for too long, I’m sorry to say.

Get in touch as always.
Steven Harrigan
@steven_harrigan @rangersnewsuk

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