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Rangers 1-3 Burnley: 3 Reasons to panic, 3 reasons not to panic

Rangers were on the end of a deserved 3-1 defeat at Ibrox. Should we panic or not? Both, say we.

Rangers v Burnley - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Reasons to panic

Clint Hill is not going to single-handedly transform this defence

At the Battle of Stamford Bridge on the 25th of September 1066, the Norwegian army of Harald Hardrada was caught by surprise, spread out and unprepared for any attack. They were aided by a giant Scandinavian holding up the entire English army from crossing the bridge for quite some time, slaying 40 men before he finally succumbed to the enemy. Unless Clint Hill was this guy (they are about the same age, we think) then the idea he was going to tie it all together have proved to be false. He is not that guy. The idea that he was going to tie it all together has proved to be false. Get the wallet out for Adrian Mariappa, pronto.

We might have a wee mentality problem here

Rangers weren't entirely outclassed for quality here, and Burnley weren't that much better than us in getting a deserved 3-1 win at Ibrox. That's not entirely a good thing, of course - it suggests we might have a bit of a problem with mentality. Once things started to go wrong, they really started to go wrong - the panic in defence soon spread further up the park, leading to midfielders misplacing passes and attackers running down blind alleys. This is a real worry - Rangers need to react a lot better to setbacks if we're to stand a chance of winning the league this season.

We rely too often on a lack of quality from our opponents

This kind of result has been coming, so perhaps it's just as well it came in a friendly. For a long time, Rangers' gameplan has simply been to create a ludicrous number of chances and hope that the sheer weight of them tells, regardless of how many defensive errors we make, one-on-ones we allow, and easy chances we fluff. You can do that when the opposition striker is John Sutton. When it's Andre Gray, you can't. We need to tighten up and stop being so profligate in front of goal, too.

Reasons to not panic

It was only a friendly

Well, yes. While this might have been the team that will start against Hamilton, Niko Kranjcar looked pretty unfit, Joey Barton wasn't at 100%, and Clint Hilleelealaeaefeeffrrrrrggghhhh. We'll be a lot better once the team is more settled and everybody's fit, so we should be a lot better than this in the very near future, and when everybody has the kick up the arse that the knowledge of playing in a game that actually means something brings.

We weren't exactly dominated

Although the fact this was so and yet we were still, well, gubbed might point to other, potentially even more worrying problems, there is that. Rangers scored as soon as they stopped panicking and played some decent football, and were far better in the second half as they created a flurry of chances. The midfield, which we are probably expecting to be the best in the country by a distance, looked decent despite not quite being fully fit, and the attacking play was nice when we actually bothered. Burnley's defence was extremely solid, but we still managed to get quite a few chances against them. There were positives here too.

Barrie McKay, Joey Barton and others looked at home

Unsurprisingly, Clint Hill does not look like a Premier League level player, because he quite clearly isn't. Joey Barton and Barrie McKay did, probably because they are. Martyn Waghorn also grew into the game, while Michael O'Halloran (surely he has to start against Hamilton) also looked the part. This team is still a work in progress. It's possible they can still get the job done this season, because Burnley are the best team we'll face this season, possibly by some distance, but to think that every player in the team would be Premier League level is obviously a delusion. We do clearly have some at that level though, which is comforting.