Rangers continued to stumble towards the most unimpressive title in their history last week as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Stirling Albion at Ibrox – the ninth time this season that they have dropped points against part-time opponents.
The Gers fans, who have shown themselves to be among the most patient in the world this campaign, look to finally be losing tolerance with their underachieving players and, in particular, manager Ally McCoist, who is coming under increasing scrutiny.
On Saturday they travel to the north-east coastal town of Montrose to face a team who claimed a draw at Ibrox earlier in the season and who look strong bets to make the promotion playoffs at the end of the season, currently sitting in third place in the Division 3 table.
A win could confirm the Gers as champions if other results go their way but that is far from certain given that they have won just two of their last five and were booed off the park on Saturday after one of their most lifeless and disappointing displays of the season so far.
McCoist blamed a lack of options in his threadbare squad but this excuse is laughable given that Rangers are still paying SPL wages to a squad of full-time professionals, many of whom have played at the highest level of club and international football, and have a youth system and training facilities that would be the envy of many of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Fielding a side to beat a squad of part-timers shouldn’t ever be a problem for Rangers and McCoist should be ashamed of himself for suggesting it.
Stirling Albion, East Stirling, Montrose and the others can only dream of having even a fraction of the resources the Glasgow giants can call upon, yet they rarely complain about the strength of their squads or their inability to capture big-name signings in the transfer market.
The fact of the matter is that Rangers just haven’t been good enough this season and wholesale changes are required if they are to progress up the leagues at the speed that is expected of them.
A title win on Saturday would boost morale, but would it simply paper over the cracks that are beginning to require major surgery?
The extent of Rangers’ under-achievement is emphasised by the fact that they are failing to win games despite being overwhelming favourites – this weekend is fairly typical in that they are 1/5 to pick up three points, compared to a home win at 8/1.
But the odds have been like this all season when the Light Blues have been concerned yet it has rarely guaranteed success, so anybody considering backing them should tread carefully.
Instead, backing the draw at odds off 5/1 could be the best bet in this one.
New customers to bwin who sign up online qualify for a free £20 bet and using that to back Montrose to claim another draw will return £120 if successful.