The rookie manager of Glasgow Rangers, Steven Gerrard, continues to astound Scottish football with a compelling start to his tenure at Ibrox – after ten competitive games in charge, the ‘Gers still remain undefeated.
He took the squad to a Spanish training centre and turned them into fitter, stronger footballers.
Even when down to 10 men, Rangers’ stamina is evident. They were also impressive in pre-season matches against Bury with a 6-0 result and beating Wigan Athletic 3-0.
The Rangers fans were encouraged by the way Gerrard began his competitive management career in both European ties against FK Shkupi and the Aberdeen game at Pittodrie. It was far too early to be excited, but they did show promise.
Then a very good NK Osijek side were disposed of, followed quickly by St Mirren and Maribor, and the supporters gathered confidence in the new Rangers side.
Steve Clarke’s Kilmarnock were a different proposition and a more taxing contest for the ‘Gers to face.
With two embarrassing defeats at Rugby Park last season, Gerrard took the courageous decision to rest key Rangers players prior to the more important Europa League match – and still won 3-1.
Clarke admitted that Rangers are far superior to last year’s team, and the BT pundits and Scottish media in general, have praised the Ibrox club and their players for their performances and results.
A 1-0 win over FC Ufa on Thursday night gives Rangers a real opportunity to make the Europa League group stages.
This is the first time people have been prepared to say that Rangers have a decent chance to win a trophy this season, but only if they can maintain their current form.
In September, Rangers will face Championship side Ayr United in the last eight of the Betfred Cup at Ibrox.
The home game should give them the incentive to make it through to the semi-finals, with the anticipation of maintaining momentum and continuing the progress.