RANGERS legend Derek Johnstone reckons the time has come for the under-fire Ibrox stars to shoulder their share of the blame for the Light Blues' below-par performance levels.
Boss Ally McCoist has come under a barrage of criticism from disgruntled fans in the aftermath of the Gers' Ramsdens Cup defeat to Raith Rovers on Sunday.
But he has a chance to ease the pressure and set the record straight when his side face Dundee United in tomorrow's Scottish Cup semi-final at Ibrox.
Captain Lee McCulloch admitted this week that the Easter Road embarrassment was his lowest moment in football and that he and his team-mates owe McCoist and the supporters a much-improved showing.
The clash with United will be Rangers' biggest test of the campaign, and DJ has called on the Ibrox squad to shape up for the sake of themselves, their manager and the club.
DJ told SportTimes: "I was pleased to see Lee McCulloch come out and say that the players had to accept the blame for performances and results and back the manager.
"Ally has taken a lot of stick recently but the bottom line is that the players are going out and not producing. Lee did the right thing.
"We know that when the team is doing well the manager gets the praise and when they are doing badly he takes the criticism but there is a responsibility on the players' part.
"It is not before time that the players have come out and accepted their share of the blame, so well done to the captain.
"The players have let the club and the manager down performance-wise this season.
"The results have been great, they have won the league at a canter and that was the main objective at the start of the season.
"But the manager has to get into the players' heads and get them playing."