COMPUTERS can be so cruel. And not just because of the price tags usually attached to them. A notification popped up on the laptop yesterday with a helpful reminder that our flight to Rome “would be taking off in an hour”.

To which the most appropriate response was to join your fingers together as if you’re about to insert your hand into a puppet and wave your wrist vigorously up and down in stereotypical Italian protest. The urge to jump into the car and beep the horn repeatedly in disgust was almost overwhelming.

Alas, there will be no Roman holiday this summer. A return to La Dolce Vita will need to wait for another time. The only piazza we will be seeing this summer is the dilapidated 1970s Paisley shopping centre of the same name.

Still, it’s not all bad. For if you can’t go on holiday, then you at least can’t suffer the post-holiday blues. That feeling when you’ve just returned from a restorative break, the laundry pile is in danger of rivalling Ben Nevis as Scotland’s biggest mountain and you can’t remember how to work the oven after two weeks of having someone else prepare all your meals.

The idea of returning to work leaves you with a pain in the stomach as if delivered by a thumping Tyson Fury body shot. Even sending an email takes an enormous effort, while the commute to the office starts to feel like being sent to start a prison sentence. Your body has simply been drained of all vitality and energy. Every act is an almighty effort to the detriment of your productivity.

Perhaps that explains what happened to Alfredo Morelos earlier this year. The Rangers striker had been one of the stand-out performers in the first half of the season. Goals flowed in a seemingly-never ending torrent, bashed in against domestic and European opponents alike. In a 10-game spell from mid-October to the start of December, Morelos scored in eight of them.

And not just singles or consolations. Amid that run there were doubles away to Ross County and Feyenoord and at home to Hearts. He was on an incredible tear.

The first signs of his creaking fallibility, however, came in the Betfred Cup Final when he couldn’t convert any one of a number of chances against an inspired Fraser Forster, including one from the penalty spot. His wait for a goal against Celtic goes on.

Red card followed before the end of the year against Motherwell and Celtic. But despite those setbacks, Morelos entered the winter break in a rich vein of form. His 28 club goals not only underscored a terrific personal campaign but had also left Rangers in a strong position to mount a challenge for the title.

To do so, however, they needed Morelos to continue scoring at that rate. But for whatever reason, the goals completely dried up. Just one in the second half of the season and that in the Scottish Cup. And Rangers’ title tilt completely fizzled out on the back of it.

Perhaps there was something about the winter break in Dubai that affected him. Maybe he just enjoyed the R&R too much. Or, like everyone else, the thought of going back to work after a pleasant spell in the sunshine just didn’t take his fancy.

Being suspended for the first three matches after the break didn’t help him get back going again. When he did finally return at the end of January against Ross County he looked sluggish. He was still shooting as often as before but gone was the deadly accuracy that had been the hallmark of his earlier performances. Supporters sitting in the stand were in more danger from a Morelos shot in the spring than the goalkeepers he was facing.

Steven Gerrard could barely hide his frustration as his star striker’s goal drought went on. A further suspension against Braga did not help. On that occasion his team-mates bailed him out but couldn’t do the same three days later when Rangers were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Hearts. This time Morelos was absent due to a disciplinary matter.

Now Rangers and the player are at another crossroads. Perhaps that dip in form will put off some of the suitors that were lining up in January but there will still be undoubted interest in Morelos, even in a Covid-cooled transfer market.

Business decisions shouldn’t be dictated to by emotion. But just as Celtic are desperate to hold on to Odsonne Edouard to try to clinch 10-in-a-row, Rangers need to do all they can to ensure Morelos isn’t lured away to try to prevent that. If they are to have any chance of winning a first league title since 2011, they will need him.

If they can successfully handle that part of the equation, then the next bit should be to try to get into Morelos’ head. What caused him to go so woefully off form in February and March? And what can be done to get him back to the levels he was showing before Christmas? If this new father and his family are content in Scotland then Rangers and Gerrard need to have those conversations. A fit and firing Morelos matters more to them now than ever before.