Whatever ailments or knocks the Croatian may now be susceptible to as he heads into the twilight of what has been an eventful career, there has been no discernible diminishing in either his heart for the battle or his ability to turn a game.

Asked to plough tirelessly for 90 minutes as the lone striker in Paul Le Guen’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system, the striker was not once found wanting as he chased lost causes into the four corners of the pitch all afternoon long.

His most telling influence came after 65 minutes when he restored Rangers’ lead with a towering header from Charlie Adam’s corner, a significant moment in what was a testing but ultimately successful opening foray for Le Guen and his side.

The frenetic pace of Scottish football has been written and spoken about to the point where it has become something of a tired cliché but the feverish start to this, his first competitive match in charge, must have left the new Rangers manager gasping for air and trying to compose his thoughts amid the maelstrom.

A slow patient approach? Both teams passing the ball about and easing their way into the new season? Hardly. Within 90 seconds Motherwell had earned a free kick and then a corner before Thomas Buffel spurned three promising chances to hand Rangers the opener, slicing the first two past the post and seeing the third blocked. Less than seven minutes had been played.

Sixty seconds later, however, and those misses by the Belgian were soon forgotten. Adam, from out wide on the right, played the sweetest of reverse passes to send Libor Sionko clear of the faltering Motherwell offside trap and in on goal.

Graeme Smith did well to block Sionko’s initial shot but was helpless as the ball ricocheted off the Czech and dribbled over the line for Rangers’ first goal of the season.

The Light Blues looked as comfortable and confident as their manager could have hoped prior to kick-off.

Adam and Sionko – switching wings on a regular basis – were particularly impressive. The young Scot, perhaps only included in the starting line-up as a result of Kris Boyd’s suspension, was full of swagger and a penchant for trying the implausible while the Czech’s nimble-footed running was reminiscent of Andrei Kanchelksis at his best.

Behind them, the Gallic tandem of Jeremy Clement and Brahim Hemdani did the necessary dirty work, making tackles, mopping up possession and denying Brian Kerr and Phil O’Donnell time on the ball in the middle of the park.

When Buffel then ran the length of the park before scooping a tired shot over the bar and Sionko finished similarly erroneously after being picked out by the tireless Prso, Le Guen’s only complaint at half-time would have been the poverty of some of his team’s finishing and whether they would ultimately pay for their profligacy after the break.

The answer came after just seven minutes when Motherwell drew level. Ross McCormack, desperate to impress against the team that recently released him, was allowed time and space to fire in a tempting cross from wide on the left.

O’Donnell’s initial effort was brilliantly parried by the hitherto untested Lionel Letizi but the keeper could do nothing to keep out the midfielder’s follow-up attempt.

Coming just moments after Adam had smacked the bar with a ferocious drive it was a costly time for the Rangers defence to finally falter.

The goal gave Motherwell fresh impetus but their bubble would soon be pricked when Rangers went back in front with Prso the scorer.

Adam’s corner sailed narrowly over Karl Svensson’s head but not the Croatian who nodded the ball high past Smith and into the roof of the net.

It was no more than Prso deserved after another selfless afternoon of toil and graft from the striker who was robbed of a second goal just minutes later by Smith’s left upright, Clement firing the resulting chance high and wide.

Prso could have had a second deep into injury time but thumped a shot high over the bar. It didn’t matter much – he had done enough by then.

RANGERS (4-2-3-1): 21 Letizi; 2 Hutton, 27 Rodriguez, 19 Svensson, 26 S Smith; 7 Hemdani, 8 Clement; 14 Sionko (Novo 80), 4 Buffel (N’Diaye 90), 25 Adam; 9 Prso

Subs not used: McGregor, Rae, Fanfan, Namouchi, Ashikodi

Booked: Prso (86)

MOTHERWELL (4-4-2): 1 G Smith; 19 Quinn, 5 Craigan, 24 Donnelly, 11 Paterson; 14 McGarry (Clarkson 77), 4 Kerr, 10 O’Donnell, 9 Foran (Fitzpatrick 77); 16 Hamilton, 8 McCormack (McDonald 61)

Subs not used: Meldrum, McBride Connelly, Soutar 

Booked: Kerr (69), Fitzpatrick (81)

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