On Saturday, Rangers welcome Partick Thistle to Ibrox for a crucial Scottish Premiership clash. It is the first game in Govan since Pedro Caixinha was relieved of his services and Graeme Murty takes the reigns for his second fixture.
After the failed guidance of the Portuguese boss, Rangers fans demanded changes and have placed their hopes in the former Reading defender.
However, with no new players at his disposal and a team clearly lacking confidence, what does Murty have to change to get the best out of this unit and end their poor form at Ibrox?
The Gers go into the game in fourth place, the Jags are down in tenth, but it won’t be plain sailing for the home side.
Rangers record in the West End of Glasgow is quite abysmal. Just one win, two draws and two defeats. They have scored seven goals but also conceded seven.
It was the 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock that ended Caixinha’s time in charge, with a last gasp equaliser from Killie just seconds after the home side missed a penalty was the final nail in the Portuguese boss’ coffin.
Murty, after coaching the development squad, will continue his interim role this week. Playing at Murrayfield against Hearts last Saturday, it looked like it would be a nightmare start when Kyle Lafferty smashed in a stunning free-kick to give the Edinburgh side the lead.
Kenny Miller, after missing four straight games and training with Murty was unsurprisingly back in the line-up, but this was only the first tweak from the 42-year-old coach.
It may have looked like a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2, but it was a little bit of both from Rangers. The 37-year-old, used to being the front-runner, the man to run the line, was asked to take up the role behind Alfredo Morelos.
Rather than playing in a line or stuck to one role, each would take turns to drop deep, hold up the ball and create movement in the final third.
For the equaliser, it was Morelos who dropped wide right, received the ball into feet and picked a great through ball to Miller. The Scotland international added the calm finish.
A lovely flowing move and something the Gers have been craving in the areas that mattered. No team wants to rely on a striker closer to 40 than 30, but if it answers issues in your performances, you must utilise the weapons you have.
The season has a real Jekyll & Hyde feel about it. Rangers’ away record this campaign is actually better than league leaders Celtic – although they have played one more – five wins, one draw, 17 goals scored.
Only their Glasgow rivals and Hibernian have attempted more shots than Rangers 149 this term. Partick Thistle lead the league in shots on target percentage with 42.86, compared to Rangers at 32.89 per cent which ranks bottom of all the Premiership clubs.
Murty’s squad are able to fire off shots, but no one is worse at converting them on target.
Against Kilmarnock, under Caixinha, Rangers were credited with 20 shots, but just five on target. Too many were for outside the box. Full-back Declan John had a couple flash over, on the opposite flank James Tavernier tried from distance when a cross would have been better.
Against Hearts the ratio was better, 13 shots, seven on target.
When contrasting the last two games, you can see a sense of panic take over the team when playing at Ibrox.
They still play the same short, quick passing style, but rush when they get to the final third.
Getting the ball into the box hasn’t been an issue, with 216 crosses this season they rank second in the league, with an accuracy rate of 33.8 per cent the third best.
Most of their best play has come down the right, with the combination of Daniel Candieas and Tavernier working well. It was the Portuguese midfielder cutting into the box against Killie that created their only goal of the game.
Rangers had struggled during the opening 45 minutes against Hearts, but Morelos’ intelligent run to the right created the goal and gave his side something to build on.
Tavernier delivered a wonderful right-foot cross perfectly onto Miller’s head, the striker guiding it back across goal, then he turned provider.
Dropping deep behind Morelos, it was the Scot who picked up the ball in the middle of the park before curling a perfect pass for Windass with the outside of his right foot.
Cutting back inside on to his natural left, there were other options and probably should have passed the chance off, but his shot rocketed into the far corner.
131 of their 216 crosses have come from the right this term, showing the importance of those combinations and where Rangers are at their most dangerous.
Ten years ago, Barcelona travelled to Ibrox to take on Rangers in the Champions League. Walter Smith’s hard-working side parked the bus and played a very defensive style to frustrate the magical Spanish team – including Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi.
Daniel Cousin had their one shot on target that game. There was little in the way of an attacking game plan, Rangers tactics were all about stopping the opposition.
Now, they could do much worse than going back to something similar. There is no point in controlling possession, working the ball around for long spells just to attempt shots that aren’t going to find the target.
Rangers have attempted 4607 passes this season, completing 80.6 per cent. Only Celtic attempt more (7048) but have only managed two more through balls 97 to 95 and nine more key passes 38 to 29.
You would expect more from Celtic’s dominance, but it suggests that Rangers can be just as creative in the final third when they take a chance.
Large spells of build-up play without a shot on target creates panic when the shots come, because you end up believing you need to make it count.
Nothing is going to change this team to help them calm down quickly, but the addition of Miller is a step in the right direction. He has scored goals wherever he has been and having him and Morelos working together can only help the attack.
Beating Hearts 3-1 is a great start for Murty, but his biggest test will come this weekend. It may not be Barcelona, but Rangers would benefit from playing a more direct style, less flash, more substance and give the forwards less time to think, more time to finish.