27-year-old must be sold: Three things we learned about Rangers from loss v Inverness
COMMENT By Matt Farr
Football Insider analyses three main talking points from Rangers’ 2-1 defeat to Inverness in the Scottish Premiership on Friday night.
Rangers need a prolific goalscorer
One of the main downfalls for Rangers this season is their inability to score goals. Celtic have soared ahead because they have Moussa Dembele – a goalscorer who has contributed 20+ goals this season – but Rangers do not have such a presence at their disposal. Kenny Miller has been good, but Rangers simply cannot rely on him to score all of their goals. The likes of Joe Garner and Martyn Waghorn have not been particularly successful in front of goal, and Rangers are suffering because of it. They have scored only 34 league goals this term, 15 fewer than second-placed Aberdeen; while they also have just three more than Inverness – who began the tie bottom of the table. Furthermore, they have only scored more than two goals in a game on one occasion. Their away record is the more alarming statistic, as they have struggled to score goals away from home. They suffered against Inverness in the absence of a clinical finisher, spurning a host of opportunities. Waghorn spearheaded the attack but once again demonstrated his limitations, and Rangers must cash in on the 27-year-old in the summer. He is not up to it. There is little they can do in the current campaign except rely on one of their strikers to start firing, but in the summer, the club simply has to introduce a prolific goalscorer into the squad.
Manager search needs a swift conclusion
Another item at the top of the agenda is the new manager. Warburton was dismissed from his post ahead of the cup clash with Greenock Morton on February 12, but there has been little improvement in the club’s fortunes since. Graeme Murty has taken temporary charge of first-team affairs in the absence of a full-time manager, but with no disrespect to Murty, he is not the man to turn Rangers’ season around. The process to appoint a new chief should not be rushed, or Rangers risk making the wrong appointment; but at the same time, they need to find a solution as soon as possible. They had to come from behind to beat Morton in the cup, and were then defeated by Dundee. The Inverness result, meanwhile, simply has to spark more urgency in the managerial search party. They have already slipped behind rivals Aberdeen, and now Hearts are now within just five points. The freefall has begun, and Rangers need to appoint someone as soon as possible to stop the rot.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Players need to improve
A clash with bottom-of-the-table Inverness at Ibrox could be considered a must-win encounter for Rangers. But yet again, it was another poor display from many of their players. Fingers were quick to point at Mark Warburton as the source of their problems, but the players need to stand up and take some of the blame. Warburton has been gone for three games now, and there has been little improvement from the players. They lack a leader on the pitch and have not been nearly as consistent enough. The defence was poor against Inverness, while midfield duo Andy Halliday and Jon Toral were also unconvincing. Rangers need to be showing considerable improvement in the coming weeks if they seek to close the gap on their rivals, and with a high-profile clash with Celtic coming next month, Brendan Rodgers’ side will be licking their lips.
In other Rangers news, this is why Claudio Ranieri’s sacking could mean bad news for Rangers.