Rangers first team coach Michael Beale reckons the team are in a great place and primed to fire, now that some early pre-season issues have been addressed.
On the eve of Saturday’s Premiership opener, there is confidence within the squad and especially from the supporters after a pleasing double-header last week against top opposition.
Pre-season is all about fitness and momentum but in the early practice games against Partick and Tranmere, there was an understandable lack of verve.
Improvements were visible against Mikel Arteta’s Gunners but Steven Gerrard’s trusted lieutenant opened up on what the coaching staff felt was still to come and their satisfaction on its implementation.
“After the Arsenal game, there were some things we felt we needed to find in-terms of intensity, urgency and energy on the pitch.”
“I thought we showed that against Brighton for large spells, and then with a completely different team on Sunday starting (v Real Madrid), we found that again, maybe 10 per-cent more.”
“They are three very, very good teams. If you look financially how much the players are worth in both teams, you are talking about top, top players.”
“Those players don’t give the ball away too easily if you harass them and you press them, and also, they are very, very good at closing your space down when you have got possession.”
“So, you have to be at your level and I think we have shown in the last week we are in a pleasing place, albeit, the league hasn’t started and it starts Saturday, so that is the moment we really need to show it.”
Right now, the expectation on Rangers to perform is not misplaced.
This team are only getting started and Saturday is the perfect moment to put down an early signal of intent for the season ahead.