Rangers Thursdays are back, all we needed was a Rangers Thursday night performance.

Itā€™s been a tough start to the season. Since the last time this column was published, we were heading to Eindhoven with an Old Firm to look forward to. We all know how that turned out.

Itā€™s been a long few weeks, a toxic environment online with negativity aplenty amongst the fanbase and in all honesty, aside from the poisonous takes, the criticism has been difficult to disagree with. Even thousands of miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, I have felt every moment.

This team and the management have nullifiedĀ all the pre-season excitement and positivity with a start that was a long way from good enough. But that has all been covered on the platform and we donā€™t need to revisit it, even if we have to acknowledge it.

So with unpolished but practicalĀ victory in Perth, we took a fresh approach to this game with Real Betis on Europa League match day one. Abdallah Sima and Rabbi Matondo provided a much-welcomed width to the side and Ben Davies rightly kept his placeĀ after a strong performance on Saturday.Ā Borna Barisic also returned at left-back. Tom Lawrence slotted in as a ten and in all honesty, with the injury situation as it is, I thought the team selection was as positive as available to the manager.

Iā€™ve always considered thisĀ an important game for him and the team. The label of not winning a big game wasnā€™t going to disappear after one 90 minutesĀ but you can bet it would have been brought up had Michael BealeĀ not got a result. Thatā€™s how important it was for everyone.

The truth is some people have made up their minds on the manager and there are some simply waiting for more ammunition to prove their position is correct. When you lose big games and the team doesnā€™t perform then thatā€™s what happens at Rangers. Some of the criticism has been warranted, some of the bile towards him absolutely not.

Beale and Rangers have to consistently show they are a good side and are capable of winning big games. This one was absolutely vital.

Rangers Review: The winning goal against Betis - but who got the touch?The winning goal against Betis - but who got the touch? (Image: Getty)A second-half push yielded a Sima goal (or was it Ben Davies?), as Rangers earned a narrowĀ 1-0 victory. It had lots of things we have already seen this season, spells of good play, moments of promiseĀ and moments of angst, but perhaps unlike in others, we got that big moment and the result.

The first half was tentative.Ā I thought we were slow starters but well-organised in the first 30Ā minutes. However, the ball didnā€™t stick and we didnā€™t move it as well as we could or should. In the last 15,Ā we grew into it and forced some pressure as the half closed with Rangers still on level terms.

The team was a lot better in the second period. They moved it sharper, stepped up 20 yards and injected some tempo into the game while theĀ defending was solidĀ throughout, limiting Betis when they did get shots away.

Jack Butland was excellent. Heā€™s been the one consistent performer:Ā solid shot-stopping, commanding in position and largely strong taking a cross. Sure, sometimes he comes and doesnā€™t quite get there butĀ he is trying to take the pressure off the defence. Heā€™s been a brilliant acquisition thus far.

Rangers' pressure brought that moment and it was stabbed home to bring Ibrox to fever pitch. I can also tell you with some confidence that Los AngelesĀ Airport was under no illusions Rangers had scored! I desperately want this team to succeed. Am I guilty of talking and writing with too much positivity at times and getting it wrong?Ā Absolutely. But Iā€™m a supporter and I crave success for this club as much as everyone out there.

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This was a big win. This team has faced negativity and some areĀ living on their last lives. We had to win. We have to win every game. We have to put together someĀ consistency. All that's true. But this was Rangers' first win in 38Ā years against Spanish opposition. This is not a result to be sniffed at when you consider the strength of LaĀ Liga.

Iā€™m delighted for a number of reasons, not least because I am a supporter and Rangers winning is the number one priority - something we seem to forget at times. We can be a good team, I still believe that even if we havenā€™t seen it.

The players and manager have had their ā€˜momentā€™ this season and now itā€™s time to kick on. Performances and style still need to improve,Ā as doĀ individual signings but this isĀ a massive result. ForĀ balanceĀ and to be clear, Iā€™m not saying itā€™s suddenly wonderful again. I'm not suggestingĀ everything is fixed. There is a lot of very hard work to do andĀ more levels yet to climb.

But, results like this are huge and we can enjoy the moment. Itā€™s time for Rangers to move forward, itā€™s time for such results to become normalisedĀ andĀ for consistency both individually and collectively. It can be a building block. It has to be a building block. A clean sheet, a victory and a promise to build on.

On to Sunday, as big as any other, if not bigger and thatā€™s how we must treat it. The only way Rangers will answer those doubts is by winning and winning consistently. Betis was a big one and it must be the catalyst.