Last updated : 20 January 2007 By Little Boy Blue
We are not long past the halfway point in the season, yet this weekend sees us making our fourth visit to Dunfermline. I suppose we should be grateful the Pars are unlikely to make it into the top six because you wouldn't put it past the SPL to make a cock-up of the post-split fixtures and send us back there for the fifth time.
The results have been a mixed bag. From the disappointment of the early 1-1 draw, the satisfaction of the CIS Cup win, to the desolation of our exit from the Scottish Cup, it has all depended on what Rangers team decided to turn up. The new management team certainly got a response from the players last Saturday so we have to be confident they will do so again on Sunday and the Gers start to string half-decent results together.
One feature of our previous visits to East End Park has been the Rangers support. We have packed our sections of the ground while the other areas have been deserted. Yet Bears without tickets have found themselves locked out of a half-empty stadium. Surely on such occasions, with Dunfermline knowing what sort of crowd to expect, an area where tickets remain unsold could be opened up for cash customers. Do they want our money or don't they…or is PC Plod exerting too much influence on such matters?
It really needled me back in August when I learned that the Rangers Supporters Assembly had sent tickets back to Dunfermline. Would I be a million miles off-beam if I suggested that those who took that decision had looked after themselves and were not amongst the hundreds of Bears who were forced to chase around at the last minute looking for a pub to see the game on TV? Surely the RSA should be encouraging Rangers supporters to go to games, instead of making it harder for them.
On the field, it will be interesting to note what a full week of working under the new regime will have done to the team. Last weekend's win was a good start but it was no more than that. Dundee United, like Dunfermline, are relegation fodder and, while such teams have given us problems in the past, beating them should be no big deal for even a struggling Rangers side. There are much greater tests ahead for us.
Whatever your viewpoint on the signing of David Weir at this late stage of his career, the addition of an out-and-out centre-half to the squad has been long overdue. He can only be an improvement on what was there before and, as a stop-gap signing, I certainly rate him to be a better buy than Pressley. With the Andy Webster nonsense sorted out, I'm looking forward to soon seeing those two playing together, giving Allan McGregor the sort of security he has lacked and giving me the courage to take my hands away from my eyes whenever the opposition pitches a high ball into our box.
Over the past couple of weeks, it has been annoying to see the PLG v Barry thing continue to command so much attention on the FF Messageboard so I was very disappointed to hear that the man who has just been reinstated as captain decided to stir it all up again in the papers in midweek. Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the whole issue, it is history now and I just wish everyone – PLG, Barry, the rest of the players and the fans – would put it behind us and move on. It was just a brief chapter in our long and glorious past, it is time to focus on the future.
With a new management team in control and the knock-out stages of the UEFA Cup, we have so much to look ahead to. It is surely better to move forward positively than to burden ourselves with the problems of the past. We may all have different views on what went on but all the heated discussions in the world won't change a single iota. Shit happens, get over it.
No one factor will do more to see our troubles left behind than a run of good results. I'm confident we will see our team take another step in the right direction on Sunday.