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Mark Warburton’s Rangers face a make-or-break December

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

Harry Forrester's winner against Dundee didn't really have the feeling of a Mark Robins Moment Indeed, if it did, the only foreseeable comparison might be that the players in question might go on to play about as relevant a part in any future success of the respective teams. But then Mark Robins’ moment probably didn't feel like a Mark Robins Moment either. They were a floundering and failing team that looked like they were getting worse rather than improving, under a manager desperately trying to instigate sweeping reforms and failing to find the answer on the pitch. Aye, the managerial graveyards are filled with brief stays of execution and false dawns, but it's proof that success can be even more unpredictable than failure.

We recently pointed to the last few games as a great chance for this team to finally embark upon a run of form, and raised the possibility that personnel changes might be clearly required if they didn't. In fact, we underestimated the capability of Mark Warburton’s team to escape definition and conclusion. In the period, a points total will be achieved which the vast majority of Rangers fans considered sub-par. While that doesn't necessarily mean they'd want Warburton sacked, the knives are neither our nor in. We might claim that we've seen this picture before when Rangers dominate possession and fail to score, but the last few games have been drastically different - desperately unlucky draws, well deserved draws, lucky victories, dominant victories, and draws that we were lucky not to lose. The more games we see them play, the harder it is to draw a conclusion about this team. The more we know Mark Warburton, the less we understand him.

So, after stumbling or cruising to one of three results against Partick (it hardly even matters which at this point) we come to a very different run.

The easy run was, pretty much, a failed test. Just not failed hard enough to deny this team a harder resit. The real games, against something approaching proper teams, come now.

The fact that we've been so poor against top teams this season is the obvious worry. The fact we completely dominated Aberdeen at Pittodrie might be reason for optimism, however. We lost, but then weve dominated plenty of teams and “not got the rewards”, to use a phrase were all sick of by now.

Speaking of which, it should be obvious now that having the ball does not automatically grant those awards, and they need to be sought out. True, Aberdeen and Hearts might leave more space available, but more than sterile possession will be required. If we couldn't find it consistently in a slow, easy run of winnable games, then if we're to find it at all, it'll have to come in a fast, breathless run of tough matches.

Pressure makes diamonds, as Brendan Rodgers probably has stapled to his wall, middle management riddy that he is. We might just finally find the evolutionary pressure that this team requires in the upcoming run. It might be clutching at straws, but it's all we have right now. One thing seems certain - December will make or break Warburton. It's hard to see a way for him to muddle through in mediocre fashion, as he has in recent games. The middle of the road is looking a lot more dangerous in heavy traffic, and the gap between success and failure is finally narrowing to the standards of a real Rangers team. Nobody wants to write off this season, this manager, or this team. We should then, celebrate the opportunity. But if we come out even further off track, it'll be impossible to make the case for any of the three.