IF anyone can scramble for a silver lining from Sunday’s embarrassing 3-1 defeat to Hibs at Hampden, we can only pray that this is rock bottom.

This is a result that felt like it was inevitably lurking round the corner. The number of times Rangers fell behind and recovered in matches was always going to end in defeat at some point, and Hibs mercilessly took full advantage of the slackness that has existed throughout the season.

It was a cruel twist of fate that the game where the fragility of the team was finally exposed was under the care of innocent bystander B team coach, David McCallum. Steven Gerrard has overseen the decline yet he was in Birmingham by the time it unravelled and another cup exit was sealed.

Connor Goldson’s post-match interview has caused a considerable level of debate. His frustration was palpable and varied from the majority of players' post-defeat interviews.

There was nothing bland about it. He served up no platitudes and sugar-coated nothing. Goldson sounded exasperated as he discussed a drop in standards, the lack of basic structure at set-pieces, and the fact Rangers conceded three goals from three chances in the first half. Then came the headline creator that has got mouths wagging: “I feel like we’ve lost a bit of hunger”.

It’s an incredible admission for any player to make about a team they’re a part of, but I respect Goldson’s honestly. It’s something that has been blatantly obvious to anyone that has watched Rangers this season. The same players have been playing the same tactics under the same manager as last season, yet something has fundamentally changed.

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The magnitude and style of last season’s title win feels like it weighs heavy on this team. Goldson’s comment confirms what everyone has known. Gerrard talked about his “completed remit” during his first Aston Villa press conference. In reviewing how this season progressed, it feels like the manager switched off after that completion and that has undoubtedly spread throughout the squad.

Arfield’s Rangers TV interview supported most of Goldson’s comments, the sentiment is clearly not restricted to the centre-back. The squad knows there has been an inevitability about the weekend’s result, and it has likely piled on the frustration that this is another trophy the team has failed to win.

Some have taken issue with Goldson’s comments. No one wants to hear their player saying he knew the game was finished at halftime. Goldson is also making these comments about his own performance and it has to be the case that he takes personal responsibility for his own decline in form.

It’s also understandable that some are irked by Goldson saying this when his own contract situation is part of the ongoing instability at the club. Can the vice-captain talk about hunger being lost while potentially running down his own contract to leave for free?

Yet overall, Goldson said what needed to be said. It was raw and imperfect but it showed that he still cares and is hurting. If he’d chosen to, Connor could have used the typical PR-friendly lines about dusting ourselves off and going again, but the fact he spoke in the manner he did shows he wants to win more at the club and get a reaction out of the players around him.

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There was somewhat of a gauntlet being placed down to the manager in Goldson’s interview. This team has lost its hunger, does Van Bronckhorst have what it takes to help them rediscover even some of the spark that existed last year?

That’s the key for the new manager. He inherits a squad with the required quality to win the league, Gio needs to inspire them again. While the defence currently looks threadbare and McGregor looks a fraction of the goalkeeper he once was, all the components are there for the team to get back on track.

This isn’t a crisis, it could even be the perfect opportunity to reset and push on. However, if Gio had any delusions that coming into a team 4 points clear in the league would therefore make it easy, that will have been knocked out his head after witnessing the team in person for the first time.

Goldson’s comments could be the awakening the team needs. Gio could be arriving at the perfect moment.

We deal in hypotheticals for now, the reality starts on Thursday when a long run of must-win games welcomes the manager and put Goldson’s comments to the test.