Rangers are through to the next stage of the Europa league and let’s face it’s progres-s from last year. Now I get this was not the result many had expected or demanded, I say to them, think of where we were a year ago.
The game itself was one to forget for all the right reasons this time, holding all the aces heading to Macedonia with a comfortable 2-0 lead secured just five days ago at Ibrox, this was always going to be a case of see what we are given and respond accordingly, do not try to force it at stages. Do not go looking for trouble.
Played in the backdrop of a rather strange arena that looked less than 1/10 full
The start was sluggish at best and required good blocking by captain Tavernier to thwart opening of the scoring the by the hosts.
The Rangers captain then needlessly, as he is prone to put us in trouble, cheaply gifting possession away and forcing the impressive McGregor into a save.
Elsewhere, Morelos looked as if rather be anywhere but on the park struggling to gain any sort of foothold in the game, passing up the games best chance in final minutes of the first half, when he couldn’t find his feet, an all to familiar story.
If truth be told we rarely troubled the Shkupi goalkeeper, Windass and Middleton both had Rangers best chances in the second 45 after an almost forgettable first half.
Tavernier then went close or as close as we got with a free kick from distance it was on target I suppose, forcing the keeper into a decent enough save.
Windass found himself removed for the game for his own good and protection you feel, needlessly picking up a yellow card after winning a free kick, he continued his protests to the referee and rightly picked up a booking.
If anyone had any doubts as to why Allan McGregor, showed just why he is an instant upgrade to our previous goalkeeper when in the dying minutes he produced a save/block of the highest order, showing no sign of his advanced years in coming off his line quickly to react. Saving all us Rangers supporters a nervy last few minutes.
The overall quality in the final third was certainly cause for concern, the manager alluding to such in his post match interview. He is all too aware we need these areas addressed and fast if we are to gain any sort of traction in the coming weeks. I expect to see moment in these areas.
We can now sit back and relax, safe in knowledge we are through to the next stage. I for one like the fact the manager is just unhappy as we are with some issues.