Annan Athletic v Rangers - Let's have a great start to 2013!

Match Analysis
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Now that Santa has parked his reindeer for another year, and the sound of Music and all the other old classics that were dusted down and repeated for the millionth time, the bells have once again chimed to ring in a new year. Ranger’s supporters will be happy to see the end of the annus horribillis that 2012 was for our club. A year that is best to be put in the background as soon as possible but also a year to remember and never forget the people who almost brought our great club to its knees.

It is hard to think that 2013 could possibly get any worse than 2012 but let’s not forget the people who were out to destroy our club have not gone away, they have only ducked down out of sight to dig new burrows to get at our great club.

The SPL kangaroo court will be first to have a go at us on January the 29th and they will probably be followed by the HMRC announcing to follow in their pursuit of winning the EBT case and appeal the original first tier tribunals decision in Rangers favour. Had that decision followed earlier in the year we would have been looking at a completely different 2012. Unfortunately “If only” changes nothing and we are where we are. We can only work on the present and future, we can’t change the past. We must learn from the past though and move forward and upwards in 2013.

As we sit enjoying the New Year fare and beverages we must again think of the families of the 66 supporters who died in the Ibrox disaster on 2nd of January 1971. We must let these families know their loved ones will never be forgotten in the Rangers family. Mr green stated there will be a simple ceremony by representatives of the club and support before they travel to Annan, which is good to hear but I would also like to see the players wearing black armbands for at least games played exactly on the 2nd if not all New Year games.

Again my thoughts go to all the families.

As I mentioned earlier Rangers are travelling down the M74 to Annan for tomorrow’s game which has a 12.45 kick-off. When we visited Galabank last time out the match played a part in our disastrous away form which affected us earlier in the season. It ended in a 0-0 draw. In fact looking back on that game the amount of possession was 50% to both clubs. Rangers did have far more attempted shots on goal, 12-3 and on target 5-1 but the fact we gave up 50% of possession to the Black and golds, shows tomorrow will be no walkover.

We have however been showing far better form of late and have opened up a 15 point lead over 2nd place Elgin City. We should be looking for a better performance than we got against 6th placed Annan on our last visit but we will definitely need to improve on Saturday’s performance. The team put in a poor performance and it took a 92nd minute goal by substitute Fraser Aird to squeeze 1-0 past a plucky 10 man Queens Park. I am also sure caretaker boss Euan Brydson will be lining his men up to make sure we don’t have an easy ride on the Galabank artificial turf.

I doubt, if Ally McCoist will change much in his Queens Park team selection. It is now pretty obvious that in away games he will not stray from a 4-4-1-1 set-up. And with that I will also place the players in a 4-4-1-1 position.

The ever faithful Neil Alexander will of course start in goal with the back-four of Hegarty, Perry, Cribari and Wallace.

From here on it becomes more difficult as it is not sure who will be fit for the game at this time. Kevin Kyle and Dean Shiels are still doubtful for the game while it remains to be seen if Lewis Macleod and Kal Naismith will have recovered from flu symptoms. Andy Little is also still struggling with a hamstring injury.

I think Macleod will return and as he has been a first pick all season he will take up his normal midfield role. I fear Kyle Hutton will be the loser for the central midfield places as I think Ally will stick with Ian Black. Fraser Aird may be preferred to Robbie Crawford on the right after his saving goal on Saturday but moving Templeton on to the wing and playing Sandaza as a more advanced midfielder would be my choice.

I think think Ally’s team will be:

I think if Dean Shiels is fit he will probably take up Sandaza's position behind big Jig, demoting the big Spaniard to the bench.

Finally may I take this chance in wishing everyone in the Rangers family a very happy healthy and prosperous New Year.