Jon Toral has admitted he’s been finding things tough since Mark Warburton, who brought him to Scotland on loan, left Rangers.
An attacking midfielder with bags of talent, for some reason Rangers’ stand-in boss, Graeme Murty, has been playing him as a defensive midfielder. Unsurprisingly, he has struggled.
After a recent match he came in for tons of abuse from Rangers fans online. Although he started (and improved) in the next game, he seems to have already become a lightning rod for many fans who are angry at how the club is performing as a whole and need an outlet.
“The last couple of games I have played in a different position than I am used to but if the manager asks me to do that then I will do it and try and help the team out as much I can,” Toral told the Rangers’ site.
“I knew it would be tough here, I knew I would need a few games to get match fit and I think every game that I have played I have felt better physically.
“When I step on a football pitch I always hope there is more to come from myself, I always demand a lot from myself and I am really self-critical.
“Nothing changes for us, at the end of the day it is 11 v 11 in every game and we have to just focus on the next game and win it.
“This is a massive football club and the players’ only focus has to be on the three points and in the cup game to get to the semi-final.
“At the minute we are just thinking about the cup tie on Saturday and then whatever happens happens. It is not for us to talk about really because we are just focussed on the weekend’s game.
“If a new manager has until the end of the season to work with the players and then to kick on next season it would be great for the club.”
Before arriving in Glasgow, Toral had found minutes hard to come by while on loan in Spain. That deal was cut short so he could find more time elsewhere. With Warburton a huge fan of Toral having previously managed him at Brentford, the move to Rangers seemed perfect [cont below].
How it pans out for the rest of the season and what sort of affect the fan pressure will have on Toral remains to be seen. But, as he says, Rangers are a massive club and they have a huge, passionate, fiery fanbase. If he wants to succeed at the very top level, he needs to learn how to handle such a high-pressured fishbowl.