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Pundit’s Choice: Rangers on the road

Pundit’s Choice: Rangers on the road

Rangers supporters have been making a lot of noise in the last few days after seeing their side record a fourth Scottish Premiership defeat of the season last weekend.

Steven Gerrard’s men went into their clash with league leaders Hearts at Ibrox off the back of beating Rapid Vienna 3-1 in the Europa League earlier in the week, and thus full of confidence ahead of the visit of Craig Levein’s side. And the Gers produced an excellent display to sweep aside the Edinburgh-based outfit 3-1 on Sunday, with goals from Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos, and Stuart Arfield inspiring the Light Blues to a much-needed league victory.

Thus, there have been many thrilled Rangers fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be interested in recent comments from ex-midfielder Barry Ferguson for The Daily Record, in which the 40-year-old states that Gerrard ‘must find a cure’ to his side’s poor away form.

And having failed to win on the road in the league so far this term, Ferguson is absolutely spot on to emphasise the glaring problem facing Gerrard, which is one he simply has to solve very quickly indeed.

Ultimately, the Liverpool legend deserves a huge amount of credit for the start he has made at Ibrox in reaching the group stages of the Europa League, and indeed the semi-finals of the Scottish League Cup.

And while the European campaign has been particularly impressive, not least because they top their group after two matches, those heights haven’t quite been hit on a consistent-enough basis in the Scottish Premiership, with the Gers winning just four of their eight games.

And all four of those victories have come at Ibrox in comfortably beating St Mirren, Dundee, St Johnstone, and of course Hearts last weekend – that itself deserves credit given they struggled at Ibrox last season in losing seven of their 19 games there in the league.

Yet they simply haven’t been able to deliver on the road this term in taking just two points from a possible 12 on their travels in the Scottish Premiership, drawing their first two away games at Aberdeen and Motherwell, and losing the latter two at Celtic and Livingston.

The Livingston performance in particular was a poor one and seemingly symptomatic of a wider problem the Gers have on the road – even in their five Europa League away matches this term, they have tasted success just once.

And given the Light Blues won 11 and lost just three times on the road in the Scottish Premiership last season, there is clearly something not quite right this time round when it comes to their away matches – matches that, as Ferguson rightly states, are crucial to any title bid.

Ultimately, this season appears to represent as good a chance in many a year for Rangers to win the league, but they can only do that by seriously improving on the road – it’s not just the results that have to improve, but so do the performances.

Ferguson rightly states that Gerrard has ‘ticked every box’ since taking over in the summer, but the 40-year-old accurately identifies the away form as a glaring problem that the Rangers manager needs to solve, and fast.

Rangers fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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