MARK WARBURTON is a man with a plan.

Right at the start of the manager’s tenure at Ibrox he infamously claimed that Plan B was to do Plan A better.

It was a philosophy that pretty much paid off during a rampant run towards the Ladbrokes Championship title, the Petrofac Training Cup and the Scottish Cup final.

Yet just under four months into his side’s Premiership campaign, the Englishman has been urged to be brave and recognise it’s time for a Plan C.

Rangers have struggled to assert themselves fully in games since coming in to the Scottish top flight, requiring last-gasp winners in the dying stages to sneak wins against Motherwell and, more recently over the weekend, Partick Thistle.

The Glasgow side may have climbed into second place in the standings due to that 2-1 win on Saturday – Aberdeen have a game in hand while two points behind in third – but it is not convincing Neil McCann that sticking to the methodical and patient style adopted by Rangers is working.

The former Ibrox forward and now Sky Sports pundit has watched on with frustration as his old team have failed to set the heather alight.

And he insists it is not a sign of weakness to tweak the tactics as he called on Warburton to have a rethink.

“The way they’ve come from the Championship, that wouldn’t be anywhere near good enough,” said McCann.

“He will be under enormous pressure. If he hadn’t won at Firhill the pressure would have been ramped right up.

“The fans were very unhappy, not only with the style of football but there was a little bit of booing when Harry Forrester came off.

"He was trying to do something different but fair play to him putting Joe Dodoo up top and he came on and scored two good goals.

“It wouldn’t be as if he would be admitting defeat by changing tactics - it’s football. Pep Guardiola spoke about playing against Burnley and how he has to learn to deal with their up and at ‘em style.

“It wasn’t a negative, it was like a positive and that he would learn from it and change. There’s nothing wrong with having to change. It’s not like he’s bursting his philosophy. It’s finding a way of winning.

“Rangers fans won’t care if it’s not pleasing on the eye if they could start to bite into Celtic’s lead.”

It is a lead that already stands at eight points with Rangers having played two games more, and with a harsh Scottish winter descending McCann fears that gap could get even bigger if the Ibrox club persevere with their current approach.

“I heard there was a stat they’ve dominated 11 games out of 12,” he said. “The only one they didn’t was the Celtic game. But how many did they win? There was five draws among them, so they need to find a way of doing something different.

“He says his Plan B is doing Plan A better but pitches are going to get worse, teams now know how they play so they’re just making it difficult.

“So you’re relying on Forrester scoring a late goal to beat Dundee, Dodoo getting late goals to beat Partick, Kenny Miller getting a late goal to beat Motherwell, that clearly isn’t smashing teams.

“So do you persevere with this when pitches are going to get difficult for two-touch football and popping it around?

"He can go with a front two, Dodoo up front with [Joe] Garner, or Miller, and playing a 4-4-2, doing something different.”

The festive fixture calendar has not been kind to Rangers.

They travel to Tynecastle tomorrow night to play Hearts before a visit of the Gorgie club to Govan bookends Saturday’s arrival of Aberdeen.

It could be a make-or-break run of fixtures for Rangers and Warburton if they want to stop Celtic galloping out of sight, and McCann added: “Hearts twice, Aberdeen. Rangers could be brushing them off and being second or thinking, ‘this is tough’.

“Celtic were always going to win the league but I thought Rangers Hearts and Aberdeen were going to be a cumulative threat, taking bits off one another.

“Rangers have to find a way, like Celtic have, when it’s not going their way, of getting a result. I believe Celtic can change their attack a wee bit whereas with Rangers, Mark has to do it.”

Sky Sports will show the biggest head to heads over the festive season, including Manchester City v Chelsea this Saturday and the Old Firm derby on New Year’s Eve.