But his Light Blues counterpart Lee Wallace is confident the midfielder will prove to be one of Ally McCoist's key men in SPFL League One this term.
Black was one of the Ibrox manager's most high-profile signings last summer but his performances often fell below the standards many expected.
He has enjoyed an impressive start to the campaign, however, and Wallace has tipped his former Tynecastle team-mate to win over the doubters this time out.
He said: "Blackie has started the season tremendously. That may be due to the fact he's got a full pre-season with no injury worries.
"He has come in and guys such as Nicky Law and Jon Daly around him have boosted his performances.
"We've always known as a club and a squad about Ian's qualities and he has been terrific for us so far this year.
"Maybe me and Temps [David Templeton] know a bit more about him because we played with him at Hearts for a number of years as well.
"But everyone always felt he was going to come good. It was a slow start for him in his Rangers career and maybe he wishes he had started a bit better.
"Now we've got this season underway and he is doing well, he'll look to kick on and I feel he's going to be a key player for us."
It is not just Black who has started the season in fine form, with left-back Wallace also hitting the ground running as Rangers have shot out of the starting blocks.
His sterling showings for the Light Blues were rewarded by Scotland boss Gordon Strachan this week after he was called up for the World Cup qualifiers with Belgium and Macedonia.
Wallace said: "Qualifying is out of our reach now but the team will be looking to do its best as it always does and it would be good to play in at least one of the games.
"I'm looking to try to get a place in the long term. I know there are still a few left-backs and I'm probably a bit down the pecking order.
"But I can only go in and, if I'm given an opportunity, I'll try to do my best and see if I can stay within the squad and be part of the plans for future qualifiers."
Wallace missed out on Strachan's original squad, but has been handed a call-up following withdrawals.
He faces a fight for a spot at Hampden on Friday night and the Gers stalwart is determined to make the most of his chance and prove he can make the step up from League One to the international arena.
"The manager said originally when he first took the job that no matter what level you're playing at, if you're doing well you'll be in the squad," Wallace told the official Rangers website.
"It has been a bit disappointing to be left out of previous groups but it's nice to get the recognition now.
"Although I'm playing outwith the Premiership, it's great to get a call-up.
"It's great for everyone at Rangers to know that if they do well they'll get their reward."