Demolition Of Dundee Was Just What Rangers Needed!


“They’re just a new club. I’ve not played them before, so I’m looking forward to that. It should be good.”

That was always going to be a big statement from Dundee’s Gary Harkins when he taunted Rangers and their fans about their status as a football club.

It really doesn’t matter if he believed what he said or it was all said in jest, it gave Rangers fire in their belly and they issued a  statement of their own on the park.

Boy it was a big one!

Firstly no matter what you think about Rangers being a new club or not, Ibrox Stadium is still a formidable arena and the supporters can still make it a very loud cauldron! They can influence referees as Harkins found out to his cost when ref Alan Muir wrongly gave Rangers a goal-kick believing Harkins had let the ball go out. TV replays showed that the attacker had kept it in and the ref guessed poorly and that was probably down to the massive jeers from the home crowd.

After the tepid display at Ibrox against Kilmarnock in the last round of the Scottish Cup and the drubbing they took against St Johnstone in the League Cup, Mark Warburton’s men needed to show they can turn on the style against Premiership opposition.

They are currently leading the Championship by fourteen points and Warburton has produced a skilful side that like to have a vast amount of possession and are capable of scoring plenty of goals.

Again they had the greater share of the ball against Paul Hartley’s Dundee and they were also clinical.

Gers led after just thirteen seconds when defender Kevin Holt made a mistake for the away side and Harry Forrester seized on it and smacked his side in front.

Rangers would then enjoy the better of the play for the remainder of the half, although Dundee weren’t totally outclassed and looked up for a fight.

Rangers would also score early in the second half with Jason Holt heading in a Kenny Miller cross.

That’s when Dundee collapsed and Rangers would take full advantage with Andy Halliday scoring a freekick and then captain Lee Wallace strolled through the opposing defence before ending the tie 4-0.

After the build up Dundee needed to produce a fiery performance to back up Harkins pre-game comments but they simply didn’t and were woeful in the second half. As soon as the second Rangers goal was confirmed the Dens Park side just downed tools.

But fair play to Rangers they didn’t sit back and sail through to the semi finals. They kept attacking Dundee and went for the jugular.

The home side played with an intensity that couldn’t be coped with. Rangers also carved through Dundee with well timed accurate passes

Both fullbacks (Wallace and James Tavernier) continually pushed forward and brought chaos into the opposing team’s half.

Young winger Barrie McKay once again impressed and looks to reaching the heights that were predicted of him back in 2012. Could he be surprise call-up for Gordon Strachan’s next Scotland squad? Well Strachan likes to give youngsters a chance to shine in training, so I wouldn’t bet against it!

The experience of Kenny Miller has been vital for Rangers as they head into this important part of the season. Especially with Martyn Waghorn currently on the sidelines. Short term signing Harry Forrester is doing his best to earn a longer deal, while you can see that Halliday absolutely adores playing at Ibrox in a blue jersey.

Another big plus for Mark Warburton would’ve been his sides defensive display in this cup encounter.

A few times this season, Rob Kieran and Danny Wilson have looked a bit shaky. But they seemed to come of age in this game with a solid performance full of tackles and blocks.

Rangers needed this type of accomplishment this season. Taking apart a Scottish Premiership side was missing from Mark Warburton’s debut term in charge.

It once again gets Gers fans excited and shows others that given a few smart summer buys and Rangers could be a force was again in Scotland’s top flight in the 2o16/17 season.

Ibrox is fast becoming a fortress again in Scottish football.

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