THE problem is an unexpected one for Rangers, but it is a puzzle Mark Warburton must solve if he is to land the Championship prize this season.

For a team that are top of the table, that have scored more goals than any other in the league and have won 17 out of their 20 games this term, it seems strange to point out a lack of cutting edge to Rangers’ play.

It is an issue that has become more prevalent for the Light Blues in recent times, however, and one that Warburton will be keen to find a solution to sooner rather than later after a key couple of weeks in the Championship.

Glasgow Times: 19/11/15  .  RANGERS TRAINING  .  MURRAY PARK - GLASGOW  .  Rangers manager Mark Warburton in training.. (46747131)

The opening stages of the campaign saw Rangers storm out of the blocks and hit the goal trail, the free-flowing blue print Warburton has implemented at Ibrox seeing expectations raised amongst supporters.

After hitting six against Hibernian, Rangers would net five against Alloa, Airdrieonians, Queen of the South and Raith as they moved into a commanding position in the title race.

In their last few outings, they have found the going tougher, though. The points have been harder to come by and the wins have been earned by narrower margins.

The defeat to Hibernian and draw with Livingston could have been avoided if Rangers had converted their possession into goals and taken their chances when they came along. A gap that could have been 11 points is now down to a slender margin.

Glasgow Times: Rangers' Jason Holt celebrates his goal the Ladbrokes Scottish Championship match at Tony Macaroni Arena, Livingston. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 21, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Livingston. Photo credit should read: PA Wire. EDI

For all the play Warburton’s side have enjoyed in recent outings, their efforts haven’t been rewarded enough as a lack of a clinical touch when it mattered most has cost them.

Their advantage over Hibernian has been cut to goal difference, although Rangers have a game in hand against Dumbarton to come next week after their cup clash with St Mirren on Saturday.

And former Ibrox striker and Barcelona Bear Colin Stein hopes the Light Blues will find the route to goal an easier road to travel in the coming weeks.

“Rangers have got good width and that is the way to try and beat teams in this league,” he said.

“Teams are sitting in with 10 men behind the ball so they should go down the wings rather than through the middle. It is easy for the centre-backs if the ball is played up towards them, but when it comes from the wings it is a different matter.

“The full-backs do bomb forward and the wingers will be looking to score more goals to help I’m sure.

Glasgow Times: James Tavernier celebrates after scoring to give Rangers a 2-1 lead against Falkirk

“Teams are defending more against Rangers now. I watched Livingston twice and they weren’t interested in winning the game. They were there to keep the score down and they got their draw on Saturday.

“You can’t score four or five goals every game. Rangers scored a lot of goals at the start of the season and people thought that would continue but teams see how to stop you.

“They don’t have a go at Rangers, because Rangers will just tear them apart.”

It is on the shoulders of Martyn Waghorn where the pressure of firing Rangers to success has fallen so far this season, and could well rest for the remainder of the campaign.

The striker has netted 17 times already in Light Blue but, since hitting a dramatic winner against Queens last month, he has only a brace in the win over Alloa at Ibrox to his credit.

Glasgow Times: 21/11/15 LADBROKES CHAMPIONSHIP
Rangers' Martyn Waghorn cuts a dejected figure (46998326)

Many fans would like to see Warburton sign another option, one who can play through the middle as well as on the flanks, during the January transfer window to give their side a spark in the final third.

More firepower would certainly aid Rangers’ title challenge, but Stein is confident the Englishman can continue to more than play his part in front of goal.

He said: “Waghorn has got two in his last five, which isn’t bad, but he will be looking for a goal on Saturday.

“All strikers go through a bad patch and spells when they don’t score. If they have got ability, they always come good. He started the season really well.

“If you have a striker that can get you 20 goals a season, great. If he can get to 30, that is invaluable to a team.

Glasgow Times: Martyn Waghorn celebrates his opener for Rangers against Alloa

“You don’t get many strikers than score 30 goals a season, no matter what league they are in. If you have someone that can get 30 plus then you will probably go on and win the league.”

Having seen their lead steadily eroded in recent weeks, Rangers will look to get back to what they do best sooner rather than later as they bid to recapture their stunning form of the opening weeks of the campaign.

The title race now looks set to be a far tighter affair than it initially shaped up to be and Stein, who moved to Ibrox from Easter Road in 1968, is pleased to see his former clubs in good shape ahead of what could prove to be top flight returns for both.

Stein said: “Hibs got a big result and beat Rangers a few weeks ago and it is getting exciting now. It is more exciting than the Premiership.

“Rangers started really well and Hibs were struggling a bit but now the shoe is on the other foot, it is Hibs who are scoring goals and winning games and Rangers aren’t.

Glasgow Times: MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS: Rangers manager Mark Warburton (right) has been irked by the latest claims made by Hibernian rival Alan Stubbs about their respective budgets

“January is a big month for both. Hibs will be looking to hold on to their players and Rangers will look to strengthen.

"I think the title race will go a long way. It is not a foregone conclusion.

“It is great to see the two of them going for the title, both of them should be in the top flight. They are two of the top teams in Scotland so hopefully they are both back in the Premiership soon.”