Barometer shows up low pressure as the Blues remain on high

WHERE Rangers' League One rivals have failed so far this season, Mother Nature succeeded on Saturday.

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Ian Black and Nicky Law have been a force to reckon with in midfield
Ian Black and Nicky Law have been a force to reckon with in midfield

The champions' relentless run of form was halted at the weekend as pouring rain and driving wind put paid to their clash with Stenhousemuir before a ball had been kicked and Ally McCoist's side had started their bid for their 21st successive victory.

With no fixture scheduled at the end of this week, and their trip to Ochilview unable to be rescheduled for a Saturday or Sunday berth due to the Warriors' clash at home to Airdrieonians, the Light Blues will have to wait until after Christmas to pick up where they left off 10 days ago when they overcame Ayr to stretch their incredible winning streak.

By the time McCoist's men run out at Ibrox on Boxing Day, the Gers' lead at the top of the table could be cut to single figures once again if nearest challengers Dunfermline can continue their promotion push with victory over Arbroath this weekend.

It will matter little in the grand scheme of things, however, with the Ibrox side already champions-in-waiting after a superb start to the season that has, as expected, seen them outshine their third tier counterparts.

Rangers were always going to be overwhelming favourites to lift the League One silverware this term but few would have predicted that they would reach this stage of the campaign without a stumble, with boss McCoist moving to play down the prospects of his side remaining unbeaten between now and their final fixture of the season at East End Park on May 3.

Only time will tell if the Light Blues can make more history in the months to come but midfielder Ian Black is determined to keep chalking off the games with wins as the Third Division champions close in on two-in-a-row.

"The boys have been doing great and working hard," he said. "We are looking to set records and we are doing really well at the moment.

"The most important thing is going out and performing and getting the three points.

"The record thing is always on your mind. We want to go and win every game.

"The main focus is taking it game-by-game and making sure we win.

"There was great belief through the pre-season games that we had a really good squad here after the gaffer brought in the boys he did. I had the belief that we could kick on right through the whole season.

"We have started well so far and it is just about keeping it going."

It is a matter of when - not if - McCoist, his staff and his players get their hands on the silverware this season, with the Gers still eyeing further success as they count down to the Ramsdens Cup final against Raith Rovers and set their sights on an extended run in the Scottish Cup.

While most of the squad that clinched the Third Division title last term remains at Ibrox, Black is one of the few players to continue to hold down a starting jersey following the arrival of a host of summer signings.

The likes of Cammy Bell, Bilel Mohsni, Nicky Law and Nicky Clark have been instrumental for the Light Blues so far this term and the 28-year-old is delighted to see McCoist's recruits making a big impact.

"They have come in and helped the team from last season," Black said.

"Some experience has been brought in. Big Jon Daly is scoring goals and the other boys are chipping in as well.

"They have all fitted in really well and you can see the togetherness in games, when we score goals we celebrate as a whole group, which is positive. The changing room has got great spirit and everyone is enjoying the season.

"He (Daly) has got an aerial threat but that is not what we use him for, he has got good feet and he is there to hold the ball up and let the rest of the team support him.

"He has come in and been brilliant for us. He has scored a lot of goals and when we play it into him, he holds it up for us to support him.

"When we get the ball wide, the delivery has been perfect and he has put them away."

As you would expect from a side that has a goal difference of 52 and a maximum 45 points on the board after just 15 fixtures, there have been few failures for Rangers this season as McCoist's stars have shone.

Black has been a central figure for the champions so far this term and the midfielder is determined to continue to improve and impress following a difficult first term at Ibrox.

"Last season I found it tough but I came in and had my pre-season and started with the rest of the squad," he told Rangers TV.

"I seem to be finding the form that I finished at Hearts in. I always knew I could get back to that.

"I think I am going to improve in every game, I am playing with good players and in a great stadium with great supporters.

"It is a great club and you have got to work hard. I am certainly enjoying it.

"I just want to kick on and hopefully reward the fans and impress the gaffer, and the board as well once that is sorted. Hopefully I can stay here longer."


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