Rangers clinched another narrow victory today against St. Mirren, with Harry Forrester's excellent finish sealing the victory after Mark Warburton's men continued their wasteful form in the final third despite dominating the game.
With Hibs being Hibs at Dumbarton, the league looks all but done and this isn't a major worry for us any longer. But we really need to sort it out ahead of our cup run, which we can probably now afford to focus our attentions on.
That in mind, here are some things we learned:
1. Rangers are deceptively conservative
Rangers have fixed their defensive problems and vulnerability on the counter-attack (although have been fortunate with some wayward finishing from their opponents for a fair few of the clean sheets, today included) but it has come at a cost. We'd like to believe the team steeled themselves in response to the goals drying up, but the reality seems to be that Rangers have sacrificed their attacking swagger for defensive solidity. That's fine - it needed to be done. But the balance has gone too far in the other direction.
The "well, just wan ae they days!" argument holds no water when it happens every single game for two months. Rangers create plenty of chances a game, but almost all are half-chances. The team is poor on set-pieces, poor on final balls, and poor on second balls. A large part of the reason for this is simply the amount of players left to cover. When Wallace or Tavernier bomb forward, they are now well-covered by the player they replaced. That's fine, but it gives them fewer players to aim at, fewer players to win the second ball, and as a result the cross is more likely to result in a counter-attack.
There's more to it than simply the number of men getting into the box, but when the opportunity arises to cross it, are our players really in the best positions they can be? We need to find the balance. At the moment, it's not working.
2. Lee Wallace desperately needs competition
Nobody can deny Lee Wallace's commitment, drive or athleticism, but his delivery has been rank for weeks now. A major priority for the transfer window will be finding natural alternatives to the likes of Wallace and Tavernier to compensate for the drops like this - Mark Warburton likes a small squad, but again, a balance is needed - we need to retain the hunger without tanking it in the final third of the season.
3. Danny Wilson has it
GTBFO was seriously worried about Danny Wilson earlier in the season, and although he still seems to attract a deal of unfair derision, his performances have been excellent recently. Another classy display today underlined his quality - we still need another centre-back for next season, but if Wilson can play at his true level then we shouldn't be worried about going into games with him at the back.