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Three problems Mark Warburton must solve at Rangers - starting this weekend

Rangers have been dogged by the same issues for a while now. Here's what Mark Warburton needs to change, immediately.

Rangers v Celtic - Betfred Cup Semi Final Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

A lack of creativity

Until quite recently, Rangers' main problem in attack had been finishing chances, not creating them. Most teams would be comfortably outpassed, outplayed and outshot, only for the dominance to fail to materialise on the scoreboard. Now, however, things are looking worse. Rangers aren't creating as much as they used to, and they're not getting many chances of real quality either.

That looked to change against Kilmarnock, with a much more fluid and energetic system yielding plenty of chances, but reverted to type against Ross County. Warburton needs to find a way to get his players moving again, to have more effective running into the channels and from deeper positions, and to avoid his attackers being picked up so easily by opposition defenders. Whether that's best done with coaching, tactics, or team selection is debatable. The fact that it is our number one priority is not.

Defensive errors

Clint Hill has been in some good form of late and is a real presence in both boxes, but the defending for Ross County's goal was still comically poor. Rangers need to work on defending set-pieces more, pure and simple. In fact, it's questionable as to whether we even bother to practice them at all.

If Rangers can stop conceding daft goals, then even if they are unlucky at the other end, it shouldn't matter too much. The more that any ball into the box becomes a serious danger, however, then the more serious other deficiencies become.

Substitutions

Rangers' substitutions against Ross County weren't completely baffling, or a Ranieri-esque moment of madness from a man who looks like he's beginning to crack under the pressure. Instead, they simply lacked any imagination whatsoever, like-for-like changes into a system that was failing to make an impact. The idea that Joe Dodoo or Martyn Waghorn in current form are going to come off the bench and turn a game around is, quite frankly, insulting. It was apparent to everybody inside Ibrox that the subs would do the square root of hee-haw, and they duly lived up to the billing of resigned sighs that greeted their introduction.

Instead, Warburton needs to find a way of actually changing a game when he makes changes. Plan B needn't be a route one 4-4-2 - there are plenty of different ways of playing attractive, attacking football, after all. Sometimes, just sticking with the same system and trying slightly different players in it is not the bold call needed to break a deadlock.