Peter Loverkrands believes the club is closing the gap on Celtic, despite failing to beat our rivals in our three league encounters this season.
The Dane sees the Scottish Cup semi-final next month as a major opportunity to begin restoring the balance of power in Glasgow:
‘Every season you play for Rangers it is to win something and the players have to try to achieve that this season. It is important we try to get something from this season. The gap to Celtic is definitely closing and we`re there or thereabouts.’
Progress can be difficult to measure in football. On the face of things, we have certainly narrowed the distance in terms of points. By the end of last campaign, we were 39 points behind in third place, and compare that to this season`s 10, there is a case to made that we are going in the right direction.
However, there are many factors in play as to why the gap has narrowed this year. Certainly, we have improved marginally. I have no doubt we will surpass the 67 points we achieved last season so that is a positive.
At the same time though, Celtic have dropped their standards from last season. They were always going to fall short of their unbeaten campaign, but Brendan Rodgers`s team are not playing with the same fluency as his first season in charge.
That is why it feels so much more frustrating. The feeling of a lack of progress is coloured by the fact that if we had been a bit more consistent this year, we could have made a real go at competing for the title. The differences between the two teams have actually only been really laid bare in the derby`s themselves. Remember, we could have closed to within three points if we had won a few weeks ago.
Saying all that though, it does give me hope for the future. If we can get within touching distance despite sacking the manager mid way through the season, what could we achieve with a new boss in place who has the nous to go toe to toe with our rivals?
A win in the cup would provide a great morale boost, and if we do go on to lift the trophy, it would at least provide a sound basis for whoever takes charge next season. In that sense I see where Peter is coming from. Are we closing the gap to Celtic? Let me know in the poll.