Barry Ferguson insists Rangers must not abandon their under-performing leadership group for kids as defeat to St Mirren on Sunday will kill their title bid stone dead.

Celtic can go ten points clear with a win over Kilmarnock today at Parkhead while the Ibrox club head to Paisley against the second-placed Buddies.

Recent form has been so poor, Rangers have lost manager Michael Beale and been defeated by Cypriot minnows Apollon Limassol in the Europa League.

And fans have taken to social media to fillet the established pros who are significant figures in the dressing room; James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Borna Barisic and John Lundstram.

But Ferguson has urged his old teammate Davies to treat carefully given the need for results.

He told the Daily Record: "The fact of the matter is if Celtic beat Kilmarnock today and St Mirren win tomorrow, Rangers will be 10 and 6 points respectively behind these clubs. League over in the first week of October. They can’t allow that to happen.

"I know there is a clamour for Davo to make big changes and bring in the kids but I don’t think it’s right to throw too many of them in at such a critical moment. Young Ross McCausland gave them a bit of energy and the right attitude when he came on in Limassol, and he could be a worth a crack at it from the start, but you can’t put five or six of them in against a battle-hardened St Mirren side who are going great guns.

"That wouldn’t be fair on them and could do more harm than good to their development. No, this is a game where the players who have got themselves into this mess have to dig as deep as they’ve ever done to get that result ahead of the international break. And by the time the Hibs game at Ibrox comes around in a fortnight, they should have a new manager in charge of them.

"John Bennett said in his statement last week the board will take its time to appoint the right man but for me time is now of the essence. It has to be done in the next week or so because whoever comes in will have to get a feel for the place and a sense of where the players’ heads are at.

"He’ll want to come in and have as many one-to-one conversations with the players. Find out why they think it has gone so wrong and what they think he, the new man, can do to help them get back on track."