Fourteen goals in 13 games – including seven in his last four fixtures – underline just how important a signing Jon Daly has been for Ally McCoist and Rangers.
Daly scored the crucial opener after 49 minutes in Friday night’s Scottish Cup tie against Airdrieonians at Ibrox following a frustrating first half for the Light Blues who had drawn a blank in the opening 45 minutes for a third successive outing.
The striker underlined the problems faced by a Rangers side who had blasted six past the same opposition just two months earlier.
“A lot of teams are getting men behind the ball, making it difficult for us to play through them,” Daly said.
“ Even though Airdrie did that, we had a few chances in the first half. If one of them had gone in, it was obviously a different game but we went in a half-time goalless.
“The manager emphasised we needed to be patient and we’ve obviously done that then got an early goal in the second-half which gave us a big lift. Airdrie then had to have a go at us a bit more and that opened them up, which allowed us to score again.”
There was more than a hint of modesty about the striker – a Scottish Cup winner with Dundee United in 2010 - as he assessed the start of his Ibrox career.
“I’m delighted to be on the scoresheet again – my first two goals for Rangers were against Airdrie – but the most important thing first and foremost is we’re in the next round of the Scottish Cup,” he added.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the service I’ve been getting has been outstanding and I’m getting myself into good positions.
“Thankfully I’ve been on the end of those crosses and I’ve been able to put them away which has been great. I always believe I can score any time I go onto the park.”
Daly was a member of the Tannadice side that eliminated Rangers from last season’s competition, scoring the second goal in United’s 3-0 win.
He assessed the difference in the Rangers side then and now as well as the peculiar circumstances surrounding the tie.
“We’ve got a much stronger squad of players than last year. We would hope to give a good account of ourselves against anyone. Every game throws up something different,” he said.
“That particular game was strange – the boycott definitely worked against Rangers.
“We got off to a great start. Goals change games. We scored after fifteen seconds then scored early in the second half.”
With the fourth round draw due to take place in Aberdeen tomorrow afternoon, conducted by Sir Alex Ferguson, anticipation is high as to who Rangers may be drawn against, given that the 12 Premiership sides enter at this stage.
Daly was diplomatic in assessing the potential opposition.
“You always want to do well every year,” he said.
“I’ve won it before. It’s a massive competition. You hope for a home draw in the next round.
“We would take any game in our stride. It’s difficult to assess how you would do – there are a lot of good sides in the cup.”