Rob Maclean: Five things we learned in the weekend's Scottish football

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Highlights: Partick Thistle 1-2 Rangers

Rob Maclean continues his series assessing the main talking points from the weekend's football action.

More questions than answers at Rangers

That explosion of celebration in the Rangers technical area at Firhill on Sunday afternoon, and the sight of supporters spilling out of the stand to greet a stoppage-time winner, summed up their season.

It was the sort of reaction you'd have expected to follow a victory of much more significance than a late comeback in a grim game against Partick Thistle.

Yes, Rangers managed to avoid a third successive Glasgow derby defeat. And yes, they've qualified for Europe and will surely finish third in the Premiership.

That's got to be the least you'd expect from the Scottish club with the second biggest budget.

But what that badly-needed win didn't do was paper over the cracks of an often-disjointed performance which proffered more questions than answers about the way ahead.

Cathro faces squad overhaul

The reaction of the Hearts fans at Tynecastle a few hours later was equally revealing.

There was no chance of a fond farewell to the 103-year-old Main Stand as the need for a team rebuild was again underlined in a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Aberdeen.

And when the players re-emerged down the tunnel for a bit of mutual appreciation after the last Gorgie game of the season, they were staring at, in the main, empty seats.

Some of those supporters who did hang about aimed some booing at head coach Ian Cathro.

Hearts' mid-season signings have failed to do the business. Summer transfer activity will decide Cathro's future.

Inverness turn up... eventually

Inverness Caley Thistle took a step back from the relegation trapdoor with their first win since February.

That 2-1 victory against Hamilton provided a tantalising glimmer of hope that they might yet steer themselves clear of the drop.

The odds are, of course, still stacked against Richie Foran and his team, four points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership with only three games to go.

Their dominant display against Accies on Saturday must have been as infuriating as it was exhilarating for Caley Thistle fans.

Where has that level of performance been in the last couple of months when there was still plenty of time for a turnaround?

Future bright for brilliant Buddies

St Mirren manager Jack Ross
St Mirren manager Jack Ross oversaw a remarkable turnaround that led the Buddies to Championship safety

And talking of a turnaround, they don't come much more impressive than St Mirren's great escape.

As recently as early March, the Paisley team were five points behind everyone else in the battle to cling on to a Championship place.

In their last 10 league games, Saints lost only once and that was at Tannadice against promotion-seeking Dundee United.

They picked up 19 points in that spell and scored 26 times to avoid the relegation play-offs on goal difference.

That was too close for comfort but, if St Mirren can maintain momentum into next season, it'll be onwards and upwards for Jack Ross & Co.

Teenage kicks at Celtic

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for youngsters Michael Johnston (left) and Anthony Ralston (right)
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for youngsters Michael Johnston (left) and Anthony Ralston (right)

Celtic knew what they were doing as they gave a top team debut to talented teenager Michael Johnston, then snapped him up on an extended contract.

He'd barely had time to change after Saturday's 4-1 home win against St Johnstone before sitting down to sign a new three-year deal.

The list of interested clubs tracking Johnston's progress has been steadily growing and, while there was never much doubt he would stay with Celtic, the club were keen for him to put pen to paper.

Johnston who's just turned 18, delivered a performance full of promise at the weekend.

Another youngster Anthony Ralston got some first team game time as well.

The fruits of Celtic's labours at academy level don't look like stopping at young player of the season Kieran Tierney.

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