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Rangers: Van Bronckhorst must drop “sluggish” Antonio Colak

Glasgow Rangers are currently preparing for their final Scottish Premiership game prior to the World Cup break, with the Old Firm outfit facing a tough test away to St Mirren in Saturday’s early kickoff.

The Ibrox giants head into that meeting off the back of what’s been a miserable run of form both domestically and in Europe, having fallen seven points behind league leaders Celtic, while also suffering the ignominy of recording the worst Champions League group stage performance in the competition’s history.

While the midweek victory over Hearts at home has somewhat stopped the rot for Giovanni van Bronckhorst and co, the Dutchman is still under intense pressure regarding his future at the helm, with speculation rife regarding a possible change in the dugout.

Although injuries have not helped the 47-year-old’s cause – with the likes of Connor Goldson and Ryan Jack currently sidelined – the former Feyenoord boss is also being let down by his attacking talents, in particular, with former talisman Alfredo Morelos having scored just three times this season.

Those woes have been compounded by the recent limp displays of the previously prolific Antonio Colak, with the summer signing having scored just once in his last five league games, having also failed to score in his six European outings this season – excluding qualifiers.

The 29-year-old had initially been an instant hit in his new surroundings – with his current tally still standing at 14 goals in 24 games in all competitions – although the Croatia international has become something of a problem for Van Bronckhorst at present, amid his recent dry spell.

It is not just the lack of goals that have been concerning, however, but the German-born marksman’s overall performance has been a worry, with The Athletic’s Jordan Campbell notably stating that the former Malmo man had been “sluggish” against Robbie Neilson’s side last time out.

Football Scotland’s Mark McDougall was also critical of the 6 foot 2 brute following that narrow win, stating: “Isolated but his lack of movement doesn’t help. Brilliant finisher but offers very little in the build up.”

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Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard reacts after the match

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That loss of form has potentially come at the worst possible time for the £1.8m signing, having only recently been omitted from Croatia’s squad for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, with that a marker of his decline of late.

It may seem harsh to criticise the leading scorer in Scotland’s top flight, although if Colak continues to underwhelm it could ensure that Van Bronckhorst ends up out of a job, with the latter man needing to make a bold and ruthless change this weekend and ditch his struggling striker.