Jackson Turns Up The Heat On His Favourite Club As Reality Starts To Dawn On Him.

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Later tonight, the Ibrox club will try to do something it’s never done in its 10 year history as it attempts to win their European tie.

But it’s more than that. No club from that ground has overturned a two goal Champions League deficit in a qualifier.

They are confident. They believe they will do it. I am not so sure, and neither are some of their cheerleaders.

Keith Jackson is afraid. He is not convinced by what he has watched so far this season. It’s more than that though. He’s not convinced by anything he’s seen at Ibrox in a while. He has fallen out of love with their board and their judgement. I don’t think he rates Van Bronckhorst that highly. He is furious over last week’s defeat.

Jackson looks at two different things, and in neither arena is he satisfied.

I suspect that there are a few journalists who genuinely don’t believe that their European run last season was as impressive as it’s been made out to be. Jackson is not one of them.

In spite of his misgivings about the direction of the club he really did buy into all the Seville hysteria, and he thought that they were finally ready for the European stage. His casual dismissal of the Belgians as a second rate side is deplorable, and ignorant. But it comes from a belief that the Ibrox club are on the stage where they belong.

Like many of their fans, he is not ready for reality to hit them this hard. He and others are already warning that if Van Bronckhorst loses this tie then his jacket will be on a shoogly nail; that betrays the fear at the heart of their support.

It comes from realising they aren’t as good as they thought they were, and the awful truth of what that means hits home hardest when they look across the city. Because that’s the reality. That’s the dose of truth they are struggling with most of all … that Celtic has emerged from the shadows of the ten in a row collapse stronger than ever before.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Automatic Champions League qualification? That was supposed to be theirs for the taking, with our club in shambles. Yet it’s us who rest in the Groups, as Champions, and they who are on the outside looking in … and by ten o’clock tonight might find the door bolted in their faces. There will be consequences over that.

Most notably, they will be financial. That will hand us yet another advantage.

I’ve written about the fixture list, and how its upending will massively benefit us if the Ibrox club is playing tough Sunday games whilst we play on Saturdays … all of this is factored into the thinking of Jackson and others.

One year of watching us take those Champions League riches is bad enough … if they have to watch us secure automatic qualification two years on the bounce they know that we might push so far ahead of them that equity confetti wont’ close the gap.

And that’s why he’s angry.

That’s why this game tonight takes place amidst a swirling vortex of pressure.

Can they stand up to it?

Jackson hopes so, even as he turns up the dial on it.

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  • Seppington says:

    If they go out surely they can’t sack Mr. Gio??? A new manager would want his own players snd theyve just spunked all their cash on GVB’s duds…oh noes what a tradegy….

  • Benjamin says:

    One lesson to be learned from last year is that Rangers are a very different team at Ibrox vs away from Ibrox. Their record away from home is quite dreadful going all the way back to the Progress humiliation. But that same team last year scored 2 vs Dortmund, 3 vs Red Star Belgrade, 3 vs Braga, and 3 vs Leipzig at Ibrox in the KO rounds. They’re fully capable of scoring goals at home.

    For me, the two biggest issues going into the match are (1) the availability of Kent & Morelos to play the full 90 minutes (and the considerable drop off in quality if they don’t), and (2) the fact that the left side of their defense has been dreadful in every match so far. They really miss Bassey, and he hasn’t been adequately replaced yet. It’s also been a bit of a gong show at LCB with both Sands and Souttar making some pretty bad mistakes that have cost them goals already this season.

  • John Copeland says:

    If the Rangers were playing Real Madrid tonight 6-0 down from the first leg tie, the Daily Record’s plethora of roving Rangers male typists ,would expect an easy victory tonight! Notice how there is not one female sports reporter at the Record now or at any other time.Tells us volumes about their recruitment policy, and general working conditions.

  • Dora says:

    Tav scoring 1st with a pen…familiar ring a ding to that…Tav must be worth 10 billion now if my wanger calculations are correct..

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