RANGERS have been noticeably sluggish in their performances over the last few weeks which is why I think it’s important they try to bring in a big striker and a holding midfielder in January to help freshen things up. Before the recent Hibs game they were playing well, creating a load of chances and taking a lot of them most weeks as well. The problem now, though, is that they are still trying to play the style of football everyone wanted to see three years ago, but it is maybe a bit slower than it was in previous weeks. By the time they get into the last third the opposition have got nine men behind the ball. So things have definitely tailed off in the last wee while.

When the players first arrived in the summer you could see they were all buzzing and keen to do well. Now there’s not as much of a buzz with a lot of them. Teams now know how to play against them. When the goalkeeper gets it you see the opposition pushing up against the Rangers back four so that Wes Foderingham has to kick it long. And because there is no height up front for Rangers the opposition centre backs are just collecting the ball and nodding it down. I know a few years ago the Rangers fans weren’t happy with the long ball game but now there’s a feeling the players are taking too many touches before they get into the opposition third of the park. And by then the defence has been able to get re-organised. So Rangers just need to be a bit sharper and move the ball quicker. They’ve maybe lost a bit over their mojo over the last four or five games and just need to try to lift it again if they can.

Hibs are on song right now and hanging on to Rangers’ shirt tails right now, and Falkirk aren’t far behind either. A lot of the Rangers players need to look at their own game and sort themselves out. Before you were getting seven or eight player on song. Now you’re maybe only getting two or three at the top of their game so they need to find a way to raise the level again.

Mark Warburton has always said he doesn’t have a Plan B. “If Plan A isn’t working make Plan A better” has always been his saying. So the players need to heed that advice. The manager is a man of his principle and knows what he wants. But he’s been flexible in the past. Against Hibs are Easter Road he experimented with a back three so he has tried one or two different things. But by and large he knows what he wants and the players have to respond to that.

That’s why a couple of new signings in January could be vital. I’m still fairly certain Rangers will go up this year and if they do the manager can’t suddenly bring in six or seven new players in the summer. I’m sure he would rather have up to three new faces in January, guys who will be good enough to play in the Premiership when the team makes the step up. You don’t want people just to fill the bench, you need those who are better than what’s already in there, even if it’s just a couple of loan signings until the end of the season.

From the squad they have just now they might need as many as six or seven who are better than what they have just now if they are to compete at the top of the Premiership next season. And better to do it over two transfer windows than all in one go.

Of course new players now should also help stave off Hibs’ challenge this season and ensure Rangers finish the season as champions. I still think they need a big striker. I know Ryan Hardie is there and he will definitely get his chance soon but they might want a ready-built one to come in to lend some more support to Martyn Waghorn who has often looked best cutting in from the wide areas. If Foderingham has to kick to long then it would useful to have someone up there with a chance of winning the headers and linking up with others.

I also think they need a stronger, holding player in midfield that they maybe don’t have at this time. They’ve got various midfielders who want to get forward but on the break how many goals have Rangers lost when they’ve overcommitted to attack? So we need that holding player, especially with John Eustace not signing, someone who can offer the centre backs a bit more protection. Fresh blood could give the whole place a lift going into the second half of the season.

Fans will want to quiz King on key club issues

TOMORROW’s AGM should be a calmer affair than less year but the Rangers fans will still no doubt appreciate the chance to put their points to chairman Dave King and the rest of the Ibrox board. The majority of the fans I would imagine are happy with the people now in charge which is night and day from this time last year when they were desperate to see the back of the old board. They know the current directors are all Rangers fans, and businessmen too, but there will still be questions asked of them about the plans for the future, is there money for the manager to spend in January, all those kinds of issues. The ongoing business with Mike Ashley is a distraction, there’s absolutely no doubt about that. There will be questions will be asked about that although there is only so much the directors can say as Mr Ashley has them all tongue-tied just now! That’s terrible for the club. But the fans have to remember he gave £5m so he isn’t going to go away any time soon. So that issue is going to rumble on for some time yet. The board will want to tell the fans as much as they can because they’ve made transparency such a key issue. I would imagine Dave King will be there for it so I’m sure he will be getting his message across as much as he’s allowed to. The fans will want to know what the state of the business is, what his plans are for the future, and to know their club is in safe hands. And hopefully they will get some answers.

Bomber's our man in Moscow

IT was terrific to see John Brown being asked to represent the club at the 70th anniversary celebration of Moscow Dynamo’s tour of Britain.

Bomber played for the club with distinction and over the past few years we’ve seen how much Rangers means to him. He’s a mad Bluenose and will love to do anything to help the club.

He was outspoken as any supporter about many of the things that were going on under previous regimes and, you have to say, he was proven right with a lot of them.

He’s nobody’s fool. So it is great to see him heading to Moscow as Rangers’ representative and I know how much it will mean to him to fill that role. He’s fought hard to get the right people inside the club so it’s only right that the directors give John something back in return.

He’s a guy who knows his Rangers history inside out so he’ll be well clued up on what this match means to Dynamo and their famous tour at the end of the Second World War that included a game against Rangers.

It’s great to see so many of the Ibrox old boys getting back involved with the running of the club.

You’ve got Richard Gough’s taking care of the American scene, and Mark Hateley is in there as well as an ambassador.

And The fans love that, seeing the guys they worshipped on the pitch still having a role to play in taking the club forward. That’s always a healthy sign.

Richard Thow, of Prestwick, asks DJ: How important is the Petrofac Training Cup for Rangers this season?

I think it’s massively important and you’ll see that by the team Mark Warburton names for Saturday’s semi-final against St Mirren – I don’t think there will be too many fringe players in there. It will be a strong team, I’m sure of it.

This is Rangers’ fourth season in this competition and we’ve not won it yet so I think they’ll be desperate to put that right. Of course the league is the priority, and then a good Scottish Cup run would be nice too, but this is a piece of silverware and fans would love to have it in the trophy cabinet.