By support

4th Jan, 2017 | 8:55am

Alex Rae: Rangers must strengthen this position in January

By Matt Farr

Former Rangers midfielder Alex Rae believes the club must buy a new striker in January.

Rangers lost Joe Garner to a shoulder injury in the Old Firm derby defeat to Celtic on Saturday, and according to the Scottish Sun, he is set to miss the next three months of the season.

Garner has scored just three goals this season, but has been a regular first-team player under Mark Warburton, appearing 22 times for the former Brentford boss.

He joins an injury list that has already claimed Niko Kranjcar, Jordan Rossiter, Josh Windass and Matt Crooks over the course of the season.

Rangers boss Warburton does still have veteran Kenny Miller and 26-year-old Martyn Waghorn at his disposal as outright strikers, but ex-Gers man Alex Rae believes the club needs even more firepower.

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He told the Scottish Sun: “The priority has to be a striker. I know there has been talk about bringing in a midfielder and the lad Jota, who was playing in Spain, had been mentioned.

“But if you look at it, Rangers have been coping and playing without Niko Kranjcar for a wee while now. The team had settled and adjusted and while I’m sure it’s an area Mark Warburton would like to strengthen, the priority has to be a striker.

“Rangers have to get someone to fill the void left by Garner because making sure they finish second is the undoubted aim now.”

The defeat to Celtic saw Rangers fall a further three points behind the Scottish Premiership leaders, who now boast a near-unassailable 19-point lead at the top of the table.

The Hoops are unbeaten in the league since the start of the season, and still have a game in hand over second-placed Rangers. With the Gers’ title hopes all but over, the target for the second-half of the campaign will be to retain their current position.

They have just a two-point lead over third-placed Aberdeen, but The Dons also have a game in-hand, and will be fighting alongside Rangers until the very end.

In other Rangers news, Kenny Shiels believes Barrie McKay is a better player than these two Celtic midfielders.