If this was to be Filip Helander’s first dress rehearsal for his bid to survive the Ibrox centre back chop then he failed with flying colours as Rangers fell to a drab 1-1 draw at Hamilton.
After the signing of Jack Simpson from Bournemouth on deadline-day, there has been great debate as to which defenders will be culled from the squad before the start of next season.
Including Derby County loanee George Edmundson the Gers have six senior centre backs on their books which is at least one too many and with Steven Gerrard detailing his plans to keep Leon Balogun at the club next season Helander could be playing for his Ibrox future.
The big Swede has been battling Balogun for a defensive berth alongside Connor Goldson all season and looked to have won the battle of late as his start against Hamilton on Sunday marked his fourth successive in a Rangers shirt.
Against the Premiership whipping boys he would have expected a comfortable afternoon in cruise control, but that did not turn out to be the case.
Helander put in a rather woeful display as Hamilton clawed their way to a point courtesy of a 94th minute equaliser but in truth it was the least they deserved as Helander led the Gers defender circus.
According to Wyscout Helander made only 63% successful actions v Hamilton, his worst total of the season with a per 90 average of 78.6%.
Alarmingly he lost 56% of his defensive duels (4/9) which is a massive drop off from his 74.1% average while he suffered in the air too, winning just 60% of his five aerial duels which is less than his 69% average figure.
He also showed poor ability on the ball as he misplaced 75% of his attempted long balls (3/4).
Helander picked up his first booking of the Premiership season in the 76th minute as he showed his frustrations in a disappointing display for the Light Blues.
This will leave Gerrard with plenty to ponder as he continues to assess his defensive options ahead of next season.
The Light Blues’ next fixture is at home to Kilmarnock on Saturday before they travel to face Royal Antwerp in the Europa League on February 18.
After his Hamilton shocker Helander will be fearing for his place and Balogun looks primed to step back in and resume his rock-solid role next to Goldson.