Rangers fan pressure fears are lazy and lack any basis in reality – Our View

Rangers‘ defeats by Malmo and Dundee United last week has led to countless hypotheses as to why the Light Blues aren’t playing the same swashbuckling football that swept everyone aside on their way to the title last season – but suggestions the Rangers players have frozen under pressure from fans is quite simply lazy and has no basis in reality.

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Steven Gerrard’s side lost their first league game in 40 at the weekend after being downed by Jamie Robson’s second-half strike, as Dundee United welcomed around 5000 fans back into Tannadice.

That’s prompted some – Rangers fans included – to point the finger at the players’ lacking the mental strength to deal with the pressure of supporters.

Former Celtic star Kris Commons joined in the calls when he claimed in his Daily Mail column that there was “no doubt” that the Rangers stars benefited from not playing in front of supporters last season.

The problem is, it doesn’t stand up to any real scrutiny.

Are we to believe that the Rangers players were spooked by 5000 Dundee United fans in a 1/3 full Tannadice, having brushed aside Livingston at Ibrox seven days earlier in front of almost five times that number?

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Is there a greater expectation on the Rangers players from 5000 Dundee United fans than there was from almost 25000 Rangers fans?

There can be no doubting that Rangers have fallen well short of the standards set previously but there is no logic behind the suggestion the Gers struggle with the pressure of playing in front of fans.

Of the side that started at Tannadice on Saturday, eight of the ten outfield players started when Rangers won at a packed Celtic Park at the start of 2020.

Only Ryan Jack and Niko Katic started at Celtic Park in December 2019 and missed out at Tannadice on Saturday.

Perhaps those who think the Rangers players froze in front of 5000 Dundee United fans could try and square that circle.

Or maybe they could explain how Rangers travelled to Liege and won in front of fans in Belgium in the Europa League.

Photo by ANDREAS HILLERGREN/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images

With 50000 expected at Ibrox tomorrow night when Rangers face Malmo in the second leg, there will be plenty of pressure on Steven Gerrard’s stars to overturn their one-goal deficit and book a place in the Champions League playoff.

However, you just know that if Rangers do go through, there won’t be anyone holding their hands up and admitting they got it wrong,

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