Derek Johnstone: Rangers must up tempo if they are to come good in Division Three

LAST Saturday against Alloa was the first time that Rangers have really been clinical this season.

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Dean Shiels scores the first of his two goals in Rangers' 7-0 win over Alloa
Dean Shiels scores the first of his two goals in Rangers' 7-0 win over Alloa

One team was going to get a doing and, unfortunately for Paul Hartley and his players, it was them who suffered.

Ally McCoist's side should be capable of doing that to teams every week, though.

At home, they have been doing well because it is a big pitch and there has been a great atmosphere at Ibrox. When teams get tired, that is when Rangers have scored a lot of goals.

I am sure Ally will have said to the players after the game on Saturday that he wants to see that same attitude, commitment and work ethic from them every week as that is what they need.

Because they are full-time, Rangers must cash in late on in games when the opposition are on their knees.

I have given Ian Black and Dean Shiels a bit of stick this season, however I think they responded well on Saturday.

The two of them played well and were far more involved in what Rangers were doing, they seemed far more confident, especially in Dean's case in the final third.

Rangers' build-up play has perhaps not been as quick as it should be, which means they are giving teams a rest rather than going at them for the full 90 minutes.

I have always maintained that formations don't mean a thing if players don't play. You can set up 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 but if players don't do the job, it doesn't matter.

Ally went with captain Lee McCulloch and Shiels as his forward partnership on Saturday and it did seem to work.

Dean often comes too deep looking to get involved in the game. When he does get on the ball then, he is 60 or 70 yards away from goal.

Now, the midfield are getting on the ball and getting forward better, which means Dean can start off from a higher position and then look to get involved.

He can take people on, he can score goals and he makes great runs. I am sure Ally has told him to stay further up the park, because they have got enough at the back and he is not needed there.

He will want him to forge a partnership with Lee and work off him and hopefully that will start to show.

I was expecting Rangers to pull away from the pack at the start of the Irn-Bru Third Division season but it has not happened just yet.

You have to remember though that this is a young squad and players like Lewis Macleod, Fraser Aird and Barrie McKay will only keep improving.

It is hard to get a level of consistency with youngsters but the more they play the better they will get and you would expect Rangers to start pulling away in the league.

It is great to see so many young players coming through and, in a couple of years' time when they have 50, 60 games under their belt, they will be very good players.

On another note, it was great to be at Ibrox on Wednesday to join some Rangers legends to promote the 140th-year celebrations the club is holding when they play Stirling on December 8.

It is always nice to meet up with those great players and I am sure it will be a day to remember for everyone connected with the Gers.


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