Ex-Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka would get results at Rangers...but at what cost?

Rangers fans are seen during the Scottish Cup Quarter final match between Rangers and Hamilton Academical at Ibrox Stadium on March 4, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Aitor Karanka has been installed as the third favourite to take over at Rangers.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka celebrates following the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Brighton and Hove Albion at the Riverside Stadium on May 7, 2016 in...

As any Middlesbrough match-goer will tell you, there’s an upside and a downside to Aitor Karanka’s methods.

On one hand, his ultra-pragmatic, results-driven approach appears to deliver success. It was he who led Boro to promotion back to the Premier League after seven seasons in the Championship after all, finishing second behind Burnley in 2016/17.

But Karanka’s safety first style appears to have a rather short shelf life. It was his refusal to experiment with tactics or even consider a slightly more adventurous approach that saw Middlesbrough return immediately to the second tier last season, suffering relegation with barely a whimper while making very few friends along the way.

Aitor Karanka, manager of Middlesbrough looks on during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Middlesbrough at Bet365 Stadium on March 4, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England.

So Rangers fans would be right to feel a little conflicted with Sky Bet installing the currently out-of-work Spaniard as the 7/1 third-favourite to take over at Ibrox – behind Derek McInnes and former West Ham boss Slaven Bilic.

While chairman Dave King admitted at the club’s Annual General Meeting, as reported by the Daily Record, that he wanted a British manager, Karanka has spent the last four years working in England so should hardly be viewed with suspicion – at least with regards to his nationality.

Rangers majority share holder Dave King is seen during the  Betfred League Cup Semi Final between Rangers and Motherwell at Hampden Park on October 22, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

His style of football, however, is more of a reason for concern. First and foremost, Rangers need results and better ones at that if they are to close the gap on Aberdeen, never mind Celtic.

And improving a sloppy defence wouldn’t go amiss either. It shouldn’t be forgotten that ten Premier League sides conceded more goals than Boro last season despite finishing second from bottom.

But they scored a league-low 27 goals at the right end that season. So the question Rangers’ board must answer is whether they are prepared to sacrifice excitement for results.

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