Glasgow Rangers head into the winter break dispirited and disjointed, a campaign that promised so much before the season started has somewhat petered out before Christmas.
Nine points behind Celtic in the Premiership table and recording the worst ever Champions League group stage performance have all heaped the pressure on Giovanni van Bronckhorst, with an injury crisis potentially being his saving grace as the domestic season undergoes a break due to the World Cup.
On the injury front, Van Bronckhorst may have just received a big boost, with Ianis Hagi providing an update on a potential return to action after giving an interview to RangersTV.
The £21k-per-week attacking midfielder has been side-lined since January after suffering a knee injury against Stirling Albion in the Scottish Cup and the Light Blues have missed his creativity.
When asked about the various stages of his recovery, the Romanian gave an answer which will give the Ibrox faithful and Van Bronckhorst a big boost, saying:
“It’s been a tough one and a rollercoaster mentally and physically but I can see I’m close to my final destination.
“There’s no better feeling, especially to experience it with everyone around here, it’s twice as good.”
With the club’s next match not until the 15 December, a return doesn’t sound like it is too far away and the 23-year-old could well inject the spark that the rest of the team badly requires.
Hagi, who was described as an “absolute dream to work with” by former manager Steven Gerrard, had significantly impressed last season before his devastating injury.
In 15 Premiership appearances, Hagi had scored twice, registered 1.5 key passes per game, achieved a SofaScore rating of 7.10, and was an integral part of the Ibrox side as they looked to retain their title.
In his last Premiership match before his injury, the 24-year-old scored against Aberdeen in a 1-1 draw that kept Rangers top of the table by four points.
Without him, they went on to surrender their league crown, although the side reached the Europa League final and won the Scottish Cup.
With Joe Aribo being sold in the summer, the club have been struggling to replace his creativity and the return of Hagi might just ease the pressure on the Dutchman.