Date: 4th May 2016 at 3:22pm
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Just one game stands between Rangers and, arguably, the most unique treble in Scottish football history.

With the SPFL Championship and Petrofac Cup in the bag; the less said about the last few league games the better, all that remains now is a Scottish Cup final against Hibernian at Hampden Park.

A three week break between the final league game and the final on May 21 will be broken up with a trip down south to face a Tottenham side in a closed-doors friendly match, likely the week of the final, while Hibs could face play-off games right up until the Hampden showpiece.

In addition to the Europa League place at stake, whichever side wins will become the first team from outside the top-flight since East Fife in 1937/38 to do so.

Photo: Steve Parkin

Warburton’s side finished 11 points clear of second-placed Falkirk to win the 2015/16 Scottish Championship title – Photo: Steve Parkin / Offside.

Going into the game; manager Mark Warburton and his coaching staff will need to make sure the players aren’t distracted by the recent poor run of form. The players’ confidence will be sky-high after sealing the title anyway, although the gap between games could just be a hindrance.

The recent re-emergence of Gedion Zelalem will have been with an eye on the final to cover for the suspension of Dom Ball. Martyn Waghorn came through the final league game unscathed and hopefully Harry Forrester will be able to prove his fitness before the final.

Even if Forrester is fit though, I think he might prove it difficult to break into the side ahead of Kenny Miller. The 36-year-old has proven a lot of people wrong this season with 20 goals and given Rangers recent record in the Scottish Cup, it could be his last appearance in the final.

The prospect of European football next year at Ibrox is one that fans are very much looking forward to. If Warburton’s side can seal a three trophy haul, early trips to some of football’s smaller sides will provide a new test for them.

Lee Wallace, Kenny Miller and Danny Wilson are the only three with experience of Ibrox on a European night and while the Europa League isn’t quite the same as the Champions League, it’ll be hard to tell the difference.

I’ve read lots of complaints online recently about the defence, namely Rob Kiernan and Wilson, and how some feel they won’t be good enough to challenge next season. I think this is unfair on both players and goes back to something I’ve mentioned a few times now (going all the way back to August), we need a defensive midfielder who isn’t drawn to the ball as much as Andy Halliday.

Now I like Andy Halliday. I think he’ll be a regular starter next season, but he simply isn’t disciplined enough to just sit in and protect the central defenders. Even allowing for one of the full-backs remaining deep, which became much more noticeable as the season progressed, it still means that there is enough cover, should there be a quick counter.

Both players have plenty of ability, and while neither is going to be making a big money move south in the next six months, both are still young (24 and 25) and will continue to develop as players over the next few years as we re-adjust to the top-flight and continental football.

Finally, with the transfer window not far away and plenty of names already being linked with a move to G51, who would you like to see join Rangers over pre-season?

Tweet me suggestions @jamesablack!

 
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