Derek Johnstone: Rangers can't fold but title is an outside bet now

BlueMeanie

Well-Known Member
AS a player, I never gave in when it came to the league because we were Rangers and we needed to fight in every game. That has not changed today and I certainly won't give in and say that Celtic have won the Premiership.
Rangers are still hanging on, but it is by the thinnest of threads now. We have still got a game in hand and we have still got two Old Firm games to come, so there is a chance.
But that chance will only come if you do your job and take care of all the other games and that has been a major problem for Rangers, certainly since the break.
Losing to Hearts, drawing with Aberdeen and losing to Kilmarnock is not the form of champions and Rangers are up against it now in the league.
We have gone from a huge high on December 29 when we beat Celtic at Parkhead to now being ten points adrift.
Many have already written Steven Gerrard's side off and say that six months of hard work has been undone in the space of three weeks.
After that Old Firm game, there was a real belief that this could be Rangers' year and that Steven could deliver the Premiership title.

Now the fans are on a real low because we have dropped eight points and the performances have been poor.
Rangers were ahead against Hearts and ahead against Kilmarnock but contrived to lose both matches and it is hard to put your finger on what has gone wrong over the last few weeks.
It is probably a mixture of things. People will look at the break in Dubai, the performances of the players, the manager, everything comes under the microscope at a time like this at Rangers.
The team were so good in the first half of the season and the fans can't believe how badly it has gone so quickly.
The players have let the supporters down and they have let their manager down. But they have let themselves down as well with their performances and the results.
I thought they were bullied again at Rugby Park on Wednesday night. The first half wasn't that bad, but the second half was unbelievable.
Killie's midfield got in and about us, stopped us playing and then they scored two goals that Rangers should never, ever, have conceded.
The first was just a ball into the box that wasn't cleared and then wasn't dealt with as Stephen O'Donnell scored.
And the second was a long ball that should have been simple for the defence to clear.
But they don't deal with it and before you know it Eamonn Brophy has scored and the game is lost.
Rangers have to fight and work for every goal that they score, but the ones that they concede are too easy for the opposition. That is a real worry for me and it will be for Steven.
It should never be that easy for teams to score against us but we lose really bad goals too often and it costs Rangers too often. It is so frustrating.
The immediate feeling amongst the supporters was that the league was done and I can understand that.
They have gone from belief to despair in just a few games but the players can't afford to think like that and they have to start producing quickly.
It might already be too late, who knows? But I will never give in and I would hope there is nobody in that dressing room that is throwing in the towel already this season.
Of course Celtic are now overwhelming favourites and everything is in their favour. It is going to take a huge turn and a huge bit of luck for Rangers to get near the title.
But we still have a small chance and we have got to go for it while that chance is still there. If we say it is finished, more points will be dropped and before you know it Celtic will be even further out in front at the top of the table.
The Old Firm game in December should have been the one that allowed Rangers to really kick on in the second half of the season.
But it is Celtic that have come back stronger after the break and shown what they are all about. We haven't.
Neil Lennon has players that have won leagues and won cups and they know what it is all about. They are able to win games when they aren't playing well and they have capitalised on every mistake that Rangers have made.
When you look through Steven's squad, there are not that many that have won titles and that know what it takes.
Maybe the nerves and the pressure have got to a few of them. I don't know, I can't speak for them.
They are the only ones that will know what has gone wrong and why and Steven has said that he will have to question a few of his players.
He will take his share of the blame for this. He is the manager, he picks the team and he sets them out.
But he shouldn't have to motivate any of them in a title race. These players have come to Rangers to win things, and to do that you need to have that heart, that belief in yourself, that mentality.
For me, there are maybe not enough players that have all of them and that is why we are falling short right now. Six weeks ago, we were on the right track and now we are clutching at straws.
The players will be down, the fans are certainly down and people are now looking at Livingston on Saturday thinking there might be an upset on the cards.
Rangers have sustained a lot of self-inflicted damage over recent weeks and that absolutely cannot continue.
I have never given in throughout all my years being associated with Rangers and I won't right now. But if Rangers don't salvage this season and do lose the title, as looks likely, then they will only have themselves to blame.
 
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