Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughSaturday Relief - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Saturday Relief - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Saturday Relief

Dunfermline travel to Ibrox today for the first time since their promotion to the SPL.  A young team sheet is expected; injuries have taken their toll.  A “platform” upon which to build the strategy.

The new boys to the SPL have conceded 14 goals in their last 7 games and have the worst Goal Difference in the league, travelling to Ibrox should be about as daunting a task as they could wish for…

It is at home, however, that Rangers have stuttered worst this season. Failing to convince for any sustained periods in games other than the Old Firm encounter, they have scored 6 goals in the last 5 home games.

When Rangers travelled to East End Park back in September it was with the wind of a fully accomplished performance against their great rivals in the sails (omitting the mid-week cup shock to Falkirk). They scored 4 goals for the second league game running and left with a clean sheet. A sense of true optimism could be felt amongst the supporters, any off-field travails made all the more tolerable by a successful and entertaining team.

Enter December and optimism has lost this branch upon which to cling. In a matter of 8 days Rangers lead over Celtic was reduced to 4 points. The viewing of the lead was always slightly skewed thanks to the game in hand due to Celtic, but on the back of another defunct performance confidence has begun to freeze over.

The specter of any impending Tax Armageddon, the accusations leveled at the clubs owner, the prospect of being omitted from European competition next season – it all doesn’t gain entry into Ibrox on match days. Or it shouldn’t. It has no place. It is a simple relationship between player and fan. 11 talented men kicking a ball around, and those that come to idolise. But when performances falter and entertainment is not offered by those on the park, these unwanted guests find a way in. A dark shadow creeps over the refuge.

McCoist needs his team to show some verve and conviction. He claims that all the problems surrounding the club do not affect him or his players. He has reason to trust them and believe in them given that this has been the case for a while now and 3 titles have been achieved.

Even so, Celtic have found their groove, cutting significantly into Rangers’ lead they have sent a message. A home match against Dunfermline may not normally light-up the imagination but there is a response required this afternoon at Ibrox.

For McCoist, for the fans and for a relief from all that is not welcome.

Niall Miller


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