Match Preview: Rangers vs Hamilton

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The last home game prior to the international break was a welcome home victory versus Partick Thistle. It was a sombre occasion that was marked by welcoming members of the armed forces to mark Armistice Day. The display that could be seen in the Sandy Jardine stand was fantastic, and a poignant tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. As always, the conduct of our support and their continued backing for our armed forces is exceptional.

The match itself came after a turbulent few weeks which culminated in the departure of Pedro Caixinha. He certainly had his critics from the start and in the end sadly they were proven correct. He just didn’t live up to what was required of a Rangers manager. Those like myself who really wanted him to do well were maybe doing so more in hope than expectation. Nobody likes to see a man be harassed out of his job which is what the media here in Scotland certainly attempted to do. The stench of xenophobia from some quarters was putrid. However, it was results that cost him his job and nothing else.

We moved on with Graeme Murty, to Murrayfield, and enjoyed a 1-3 victory over Hearts. Then we comfortably beat a poor Partick Thistle side whose support seemed more concerned with Catalan flags and political statements than what was happening on the pitch. What was happening was an accomplished and comfortable performance that saw us run out victors 3-0. It was a good first half and then after we scored the third early in the second half we took the foot off the gas and cantered to the final whistle. OK, Partick had a good 10-minute spell but that was mainly us going to sleep rather than any great effort from them. Graeme Murty seems to have instilled some much-needed confidence in the side and they look like they want to play for the manager again. This sudden improvement potentially leaves many questions regarding their commitment under the last manager?

The last couple of weeks have seen most of us bored out our minds with another international break. I know a lot of older bears on here still have a great deal of affection for the national side. International football just doesn’t do it for me; its Rangers for me, every time. Bearing that in mind we welcome Hamilton to Ibrox this Saturday for a 3pm KO. There are a limited number of tickets left for this match if you still wish to go. However, there are not many and it is sure to be a sell out by 3pm tomorrow.

Our last contest with Hamilton was at their SuperSeal Stadium with our side leaving with a good three points and a 1-4 victory. We went behind to an early goal but fought back through a double from DJ, one from Candieias and a penalty from Graham Dorrans. Graeme Murty will look to do something that Pedro could not do in all his time here in Glasgow. Winning three games in a row was something that eluded him all through his tenure at Ibrox.

There is still much talk of who will be our next manager. We are no further forward and as long as we are winning and the team is performing I see no reason to panic. Graeme Murty has the team organised; he is a knowledgeable and impressive football coach. The side is organised and we seem cohesive again. The talk of other managers is inevitable but for the time being Graeme Murty has us looking like no side will bully us on the pitch. We look like we are enjoying winning again.

Looking to our starting 11 this weekend we will have to see whether Graeme Murty decides to stick with Wilson and McCrorie. I hope he does so as they look solid together, and with DJ and Tavernier on either side, we have a good back four.

Midfield sees a rejuvenated Jason Holt continue to excel in his role in the engine room. Ryan jack looks happy beside him and is easing into his role slightly further forward. Candeias on the right has a great partnership with Tavernier and they are both an effective attacking weapon to have in our side. We are still light on the left-hand side though. Josh Windass currently occupies the role but flatters to deceive. I am not a fan of Windass and would actually like to see Hodson at left back and DJ in the role Windass occupies. However, I have my doubts this will happen. We will probably continue with Windass and I hope he keeps his daydreaming to a minimum.

Kenny Miller will occupy his usual role in the... answers on a postcard please! Miller seems to roam wherever he pleases and I am at a loss to allot him a suitable position. We would then be left with Alfredo Morelos up front. He just never stops working and I’m sure he will be back in the goals soon. I predict a solid performance and a comfortable 3-0 home victory with Morelos scoring the first goal.

November is a reflective month for many reasons. Most of us remember the fallen and our club and supporters continue to mark this sacrifice in the respectful and dignified way that they do. I know our club also support those who battle illness and one of those causes is cancer research. I like to take this opportunity just to remind us all that cancer will affect every one of us in some way at some point in our lives. Its two years since my good lady was taken by it too. If you are ever out an about and any kind of cancer charity is collecting, please spare them a few quid. It’s a horrible disease. As always, my niece and I will be thinking about Jean over this period. She was as fanatical about Rangers as every one of us. Let’s hope we can all go home happy after taking three points that leaves us to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

C’mon eh Bears!

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