Bitter disappointment is the overriding feeling this morning, along with a real sense that we let our opposition off the hook again.
I’ve said it before and undoubtedly I’ll say it again, we are our own worst enemy at times. We spoke openly about how it was great to hear the players cheer when the cup draw happened last week, that is great and I welcomed it because that shows a lack of fear.
But the simple fact is you have to follow it up and do it on the park. We didn’t and despite taking the lead twice we didn’t take advantage, individual mistakes gifted it to our opposition.
We started off like an express train yesterday but we got caught up in the occasion and never got a hold of the ball at all, we failed to press and play the short sharp passing game which we have benefited from in recent weeks.
Subsequently we lost extremely poor goals and surrendered possession far too easily, it simply wasn’t good enough. The chances missed in the last two encounters have verged upon absolutely criminal and when that happens we really shouldn’t moan about anything other than ourselves.
Disappointingly every goal came from a mistake and every goal was preventable. We should have stopped them but we didn’t both individually and collectively, meaning the players will be criticised for that.
We didn’t press, we didn’t stop their outball, we were slack in possession and weak in the tackle. We played exactly into their hands. Individually some mistakes were amateur like, especially in defence, and that is simply unacceptable for where we want to be.
Possibly still raw from yesterday but I feel Individually some players arguably proved they don’t have the ability, or certainly the mentality, to be Rangers players in the long run.
We were set up in a way that meant we were consistently outnumbered in midfield, similar to the Hibs games and it is extremely disappointing that we hadn’t put together a game plan or formation to counter this.
That’s down to the manager and some will argue he waited far too long to change it and the other didn’t, thus perhaps not costing us the game but his inactivity certainly didn’t help.
Murty has done a great job in challenging circumstances, so I am loathed to criticise heavily, but he never seems capable of changing a game or making substitutions that work in times of need, this was another example.
I don’t think we played well, we certainly didn’t get our passing game together well enough at times, but we did at least mix it. We did prove we could at least stand up to them and give them something to think about.
Positively we still could have easily, at very least, drawn the match and we created some fine opportunities. It is obvious we have come on from the easy September defeat we gifted them under Pedro, but it’s also clear that we have a bit to go.
We need quality additions and the waste of wages in that squad, which Dave King is recently said to have mentioned in ORSA, was as high as £80,000 a week, must never be allowed to be repeated. That is the two or three quality additions that we need to take that next step.
The players deserve great credit for recent performances and we look dangerous but they must learn from yesterday’s game individually and collectively. We also must simply become a more aggressive and ruthless side, I can’t help but feel we are still far too nice and we are certainly way off being clinical enough.
We stand with the team from yesterday and we will continue to sell out stadiums everywhere we go. It isn’t all doom and gloom, we have a chance to finish the season strongly and we should strive to take that.
There is a real chance Russell Martin, Ross McCrorie, Graham Dorrans and Lee Wallace will be in the team that play in the semi final, that could be critical as they will all improve our side.
Those Players will return to the team and we will be ready for our challenge next time having hopefully learned our lessons.
Our opposition yesterday have a squad together for years and a wage bill three times higher than ours, in one January window we have closed that gap significantly and although we were defeated, we hurt them enough to suggest on our game we will run them closer still.
Mark Allen achieved so much in one window we can look forward to the next, knowing several months of planning will have gone into it.
The board are acutely aware that significant money is needed to invest in the squad. They are also aware managerially they must deliver the correct man. They are committed to that challenge as well as the challenge to return us to where we belong.
When we do return there and we will, the feeling will be very sweet indeed.
Ignore the Nonsense, the Irrelevant and the noise 🔴⚪️🔵