DID you ever read The Da Vinci Code? Buy a James Blunt album? Watch the Twilight movies? Is the real answer the one you would admit in public?

Now ask a Rangers supporter what they think of Cyriel Dessers.

Glasgow Times: Cyriel Dessers reacts to missing a chanceCyriel Dessers reacts to missing a chance (Image: SNS)READ MORE: Rangers boss Philippe Clement reveals referee apology

Sometimes, it becomes fashionable to dislike something or someone – even when they are doing well. Record book sales, a platinum album, a box-office smash: forget it. If everyone is roundly trashing them, it’s easier to jump on the bandwagon. But there is always space for individuals to turn around public perception.

Do you think Dan Brown checks the comments section on Amazon for validation when he has sold over 200 million copies of his works worldwide? James Blunt, meanwhile, has managed to reverse-engineer his negative press with an ingeniously self-deprecating social-media persona which refracts the negativity and turns it into a promotional tool. I can’t stand up for the Twilight movies. They really are awful. But neither Kristen Stewart nor Robert Pattinson, the emotionally challenged lead duo, have done badly since.

During the first half of the current Premiership season, meanwhile, brickbats for Rangers striker Dessers were par for the course. To be fair, the big Nigerian seemed to take as long to get revved up and motoring at Ibrox as an old leaded-diesel-powered Lada car on a frosty February morning.

Rangers and their city rivals have certainly made the odd faux pas in the transfer market in the last couple of decades but shelling out £4.5m to Italian second-tier outfit Cremonese for a then-28-year-old Nigeria internationalist was an intriguing move by the club’s recruitment team.

Glasgow Times: Lawrence Shankland celebrates after scoring for HeartsLawrence Shankland celebrates after scoring for Hearts (Image: SNS)READ MORE: Ross County manager asks why referee added 12 minutes in Rangers game

One of the main criticisms of that Govan headhunting outfit last month was for not seeming to go after Hearts hitman Lawrence Shankland, an apparently ready-made goalscoring machine who could fire Rangers to just their second title in 13 years. After scoring a brace against Ross County at an expectant Ibrox on Wednesday night, however, when a glut of goals could have slingshot Philippe Clement’s side above Celtic at the top of the table, Dessers took his tally in the league this season to 10 in 22 matches.

OK, for a No.9 at one of the top sides in the division that might sound like piecemeal compared to Shankland’s 17 goals in 25 Premiership games, but four of those strikes coming in the five league encounters since the return from the winter break augurs well for Rangers in the battle for silverware in the second half of the season.

When Michael Beale ripped out his entire attacking line last summer and brought in a host of forward signings – out went Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Kent, Antonio Colak and Fashion Sakala, and a crew of recruits including Dessers, Abdallah Sima, Danilo and Sam Lammers arrived – it was inevitable that there would be a bedding-in period required, a luxury Beale seemed blissfully unaware would not be afforded him. This was the folly of his monumental rebuild, the Englishman paying the price for a lack of cohesion and mixed results at the start of the campaign by being relieved of his duties in October after just 10 months in charge following a costly 3-1 defeat to Aberdeen at Ibrox.

Glasgow Times: Former Rangers manager Michael BealeFormer Rangers manager Michael Beale (Image: SNS)READ MORE: Sam Lammers admits he's unsure of future at Rangers

The loss to the Dons came just a couple of weeks after a damaging home derby defeat to Celtic. During that match, Beale thought Kemar Roofe had put his side ahead in the first half, but a VAR review spotted an infringement in the build-up by Dessers, who provided the assist for the Jamaica internationalist to fire past Joe Hart and send Ibrox into raptures.

At the time, I wrote in this column that the decision against Dessers was harsh but correct, and I remain adamant that VAR should not be used to intervene in such incidents.

In real footballing terms, it was simply good forward play: sniffing out danger when Gustaf Lagerbielke – the Celtic summer signing who, unlike Dessers, finds himself well out of the picture now across the city – was caught dallying on the ball and was dispossessed by the forward. Had the goal stood, all and sundry of a Celtic persuasion would have been hauling the defender over the coals for allowing Dessers to sink his teeth in and very few would have been clutching at the straw that was a point of contact between the Rangers man and the Swede during the challenge.

Glasgow Times: Rangers had goal chalked off in first derby of the seasonRangers had goal chalked off in first derby of the season (Image: SNS)READ MORE: Rangers VAR call correct but decision to check was out of this world

Those two defeats in September sealed Beale’s sorry fate, and with confidence rock bottom there was a somewhat protracted search for his successor, with club legend Steven Davis placed in temporary charge of the squad. None of this would have been a settling environment for the clutch of players recruited from far and wide just a couple of months prior.

In his next derby just before the turn of the year, Dessers was this time criticised roundly for his profligacy in front of goal. Indeed, the striker should have scored when put through one-on-one with Hart on two occasions, appearing to hesitate himself when his big moment arrived. Again, this looked more of a confidence issue than competence, as on both occasions he had done well to get into the position to score.

Compare and contrast that with his first strike against County on Wednesday night. After James Tavernier split the visitors’ defence with a flighted ball from his own half, Dessers deftly slowed the ball down at the edge of the box with his head before lifting it over onrushing goalkeeper George Wickens and into the net.

Glasgow Times: Cyriel Dessers coolly lofts the ball over George Wickens to scoreCyriel Dessers coolly lofts the ball over George Wickens to score (Image: PA)READ MORE: Rangers and five Premiership clubs call for full SPFL meeting

It was a calm, classy finish and it was a clear indication of a player full of confidence. Adding a second with a headed finish from another Tavernier cross will only have inflated that feeling.

The question now is, with the draw for the last-16 of the Europa League on the horizon next week and with the Nigerian’s third shot at the Scottish champions still several weeks away at the start of April, can he keep up his goalscoring form when it counts? Or will the naysayers have the last laugh?

We've seen two sides to Dessers so far this season, whether Rangers prise the Premiership trophy from their rivals come May could well depend on which one turns up for the remainder of the season.