The comment summed up both sides of the situation that Cyriel Dessers finds himself in at Ibrox. Midway through the second half of the win over Hibernian on Saturday, a fan in the Main Stand exclaimed for someone to ‘hit the ball off of Dessers so he can get a goal!’

It was a moment of dark humour that was said with the best of intentions but a dose of realism. No supporter wants to see Dessers fail this season, but few have seen enough to justify the outlay and the faith that Michael Beale invested in the striker.

Soon enough, Dessers did indeed find the net and it didn’t require a deflection or a gimme as he showed the composure expected of a man that has played for the clubs that he has and that cost Rangers around £4.5million this summer. In his eighth Premiership appearance of the season, Dessers finally had his second goal as he rounded off a 4-0 victory on Philippe Clement’s debut as boss.

The other that he has been credited with came against Motherwell last month. On that occasion, it was very much a case of the ball hitting off him as a drive from Rabbi Matondo took a deflection that beat Liam Kelly. Dessers milked the moment with the home crowd, but the goal bonus was earned more through fortune than skill as he found himself in the right place at the right time.

That trait is, of course, the hallmark of all great goal scorers but Dessers – who has also netted against Servette and Morton to take his tally for the campaign to four from 16 appearances – has not yet had the look or feel of a prolific marksman.

Perhaps he has, at times, suffered as a result of the quality of chances that have fallen to him. The return of Todd Cantwell at the weekend, with Tom Lawrence also poised to feature once again soon, should certainly help in that regard as Clement seeks to get more players in advanced positions. If Dessers has options to link with and playoff, he will not cut the isolated, often cumbersome, figure that he has done during a run of outings that have brought more reasons to be fearful than cheerful.

With each opportunity that has been missed, the pressure has increased and Dessers found himself as the lightning rod for the support during a largely abject opening few months of the season.

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His form contributed to that, but he could feel unfortunate that he was the individual who was picked out and picked on by fans at a time of collective failings under Beale’s guidance. It was noticeable that Rangers played the ball into his feet more at the weekend and one of the main negatives of his performances this season was eradicated as a result. He was not caught offside once before he left the park to a round of applause and held a debrief with his boss.

Dessers admitted that the unfriendly fire had impacted him in a negative manner. He used a Dutch phrase, explaining how players attempt to ‘keep these things out the door’ but admitted that was easier said than done, especially at a club like Rangers and in a city like Glasgow. Dessers has drawn on previous times of strife and retains confidence in his own abilities but his answers – open, honest and thoughtful as always – offered a reminder that the Ibrox crowd can have a negative impact as well as a positive one.

“No, no,” Dessers said when asked if he had been determined to prove his critics wrong. “I think when you have this, you are going to force things and maybe play in a different way than you are used to. Maybe I did that a little too much in the past games, I was thinking too much.

“As a striker, when you are thinking too much it is never a good thing. I hope this is a new start for me as well. Not just for me, for the whole team, and we can go on from here and win a lot of games hopefully.”

That ambition had been achieved long before Dessers completed the scoring eleven minutes from time against Hibernian. First-half efforts from Abdallah Sima and Nicolas Raskin had secured the points, while Sima continued his fine form by scoring his second, capitalising when Dessers was twice denied after rounding keeper David Marshall.

The Nigerian internationalist got his goal in the end. The deft pass from Cantwell was exquisite and the finish was cool and clinical. Dessers had made the space for himself inside the area and he had the presence of mind to steady himself before side-footing the ball beyond Marshall.

The seconds that followed were a mixture of relief and elation. A crowd that had booed and sarcastically applauded Dessers in recent weeks celebrated with him, while his team-mates joined him in front of the Main Stand in a show of support. When he was replaced by Danilo two minutes later, his manager greeted him warmly on the touchline.

Clement had been asked about Dessers during his unveiling in the Blue Room on Tuesday afternoon. He admitted he had seen Dessers ‘doing a better job’ in Holland and Belgium in the seasons prior to his campaign in Serie A and move to Ibrox, but he dismissed the notion Dessers would receive special treatment as he called on every member of his squad to be ready to play their part.

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Discussions between the pair in the days that followed centred around mentality. Whatever doubts supporters have over Dessers’ quality, there is no doubt that their views have been formed at a time when he has been suffering from a crisis of confidence.

Clement has joked that he does not have a magic wand and that he is not Harry Potter. If he can turn Dessers into a regular scorer once again, it will be quite the party piece. The Belgian insisted on Saturday that it is not important to him who gets the goals as he emphasises the machine rather than the components but no side that expects to challenge for honours can do so without a regular source of goals from their forwards.

“I talked with him about that this week,” Clement said of the chats with Dessers regarding his confidence levels. “It's about doing hard work every day, repeating and repeating. Even if he didn't score today, he still would have had a good game because he worked for the team. It's the same with Sam (Lammers), they worked really hard for the team and because of that we can do good.”

That working for the team factor was referenced by Dessers afterwards. It was a day when Rangers defended from the front and the structure that Clement has emphasised as integral to his blueprint was evident as Dessers and Lammers pressed the Hibernian defence in the right way and at the right moments.

Rangers Review: Dessers celebrates his goal against Hibs

Dessers analysed his own statistics before making his way to the media room and stated that ‘myself and a few of the other guys, we almost broke some records, so I think that is a big positive’. He also spoke of the ‘new energy’ that is around Ibrox as a result of Clement’s arrival and the adaptions that will need to be made as Rangers operate in a more dominant, high-tempo manner.

“I try not to be focused too much on scoring,” Dessers said. “Like I said, I just want to do the things right for the team and I know the goals will follow. Maybe you guys haven’t seen me score that much but I have scored my whole life, I know I can score goals.

“If I do the things right, on each level, I will meet my goals. I am sure this will happen with Rangers as well. I need to do the right things and I am sure this coach and this team will help me with that. Then we can enjoy it all together.”

Dessers has been here before. His sole season with Cremonese was permeated by lengthy spells without scoring, but the campaign before resulted in him finding the net 21 times, including on ten occasions in the Conference League, in 47 appearances for Feyenoord. The Dutch giants are one of three clubs – the others being NAC Breda and Heracles – that the Belgium-born forward has averaged around a goal every other game for, but he has some way to go to get anywhere near that level during his first term at Ibrox.

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He is aware that the negative voices will shout the loudest amongst the Rangers support, but he is grateful for the backing that he has received in the difficult moments. He remains confident that there is more and better to come and this new era must be a fresh start for many members of the underperforming and underachieving group that Clement has inherited in recent days.

Dessers would have taken a goal that ricocheted off his backside if it meant that he scored against Hibernian. A goal is, after all, a goal. Yet he could take satisfaction from the manner of the build-up and the execution, as well as the ovation that it elicited from his teammates and the crowd as his strike rounded off a more accomplished showing.

As is the case for Rangers as a whole, Saturday was the smallest of steps in the right direction. Time will tell how many more, and how many significant ones, are to come as Clement seeks to work his own brand of magic at Ibrox.