The doom and gloom surrounding Rangers continued on Wednesday evening despite securing their place in the last four of the League Cup, with Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side having produced an underwhelming display against Championship outfit, Dundee.
Just a week on from the shambolic defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League at Ibrox, the Old Firm outfit again appeared unconvincing on home soil despite ultimately claiming a 1-0 win, with Steven Davis’ early header having been the rare bright moment in what was a largely drab affair.
The Gers boss was perhaps unsurprisingly unhappy with the nature of his side’s performance against Gary Bowyers’ resilient side, with the home crowd likely to have been expecting more from the Glasgow giants against their lower-league opponents.
Amid that limp display, one potential positive may well have been the performance of goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin, with the 35-year-old having made the most of his return to the side in place of compatriot, Allan McGregor.
The Scotland international had little to do, in truth, against the Dark Blues on the night, although reacted well when called upon to snuff out any potential openings, having been “really sharp” to prevent Zak Rudden from having a run at goal late on, in the words of journalist Joshua Barrie.
The former Sunderland man ‘didn’t let anyone down’ – as per Rangers Review’s Jon McFarlane – with the imposing ‘keeper likely to be hoping to have done enough to keep his place in the side moving forward.
Injury had seen the £315k-rated man initially fall out of the team as fellow veteran McGregor took his place, although the latter man notably endured a grim evening against Jurgen Klopp’s side last week, having been somewhat “suspect” against the Merseysiders, in the words of pundit Gabby Agbonlahor.
While not entirely to blame for his side shipping seven against the Premier League outfit, the 40-year-old may well have sparked concern as a result of his display, having subsequently been uncharacteristically caught out by Stuart McKinstry’s effort in the narrow victory over Motherwell at the weekend.
Amid those shaky outings from the former Besiktas man, it may have been pleasing for Van Bronckhorst to see a more stable display from the returning McLaughlin last night, with the 6 foot 3 ace having done himself no harm with regards to recapturing his previous starting berth, having started on the bench in the past three league games.