Why Rangers deserve a Grade C+ for their season so far
Joel Sked breaks down the season thus far for every team in our series of Ladbrokes Premiership mid-term report cards.
The club sit second and are on course for a return to Europe, defeating Hearts and Aberdeen at home in December having recently lost against both earlier in the season. Clint Hill has proven doubters wrong in the centre of defence, while Kenny Miller is in the height of his Indian summer. In all honesty there have been too few high points for the Ibrox faithful.
Three defeats to Celtic has stung, although Rangers have shown improvement in each one. The Joey Barton signing turned into a disaster, leading to a lot of off-field noise and unwanted pressure on Mark Warburton. Fans have, at times, become disgruntled at ponderous Ibrox performances.
Lee Wallace has stepped up to the Premiership with ease as it was expected he would, while Hill has led by example in the heart of defence with reliability. Miller is the club’s leading league scorer but his all-round performances have been exemplary. A key figure even at the age of 37.
Individually, a number of players need to raise their game and realise this is Rangers in the top-flight they are playing for. The club need to steer away from off-field incidents which can lead to distraction. Results away from home need to improve, picking up only two points at the homes of their top-six rivals.
Second-place was the expectation and they are currently there, just. But with the budget Warburton has at his disposal a large improvement is still required.