Thursday night saw Mike Ashley’s half million bonus all but disappearing, though there was another surprise with Shane Ferguson’s belated appearance for Rangers.

The first leg of the final play-off for a place in the Scottish Premier League took place last night and after 47 minutes Rangers were three down to Motherwell at Ibrox.

Haris Vuckic played the full 90 minutes and a late Darren McGregor gave the Glasgow club some faint hope of turning things around in the second leg on Sunday.

However, it was the introduction of Newcastle loan player Shane Ferguson for the last 25 minutes which turned the tide.

Looking the best player on the pitch and very sharp considering his long-term absence, Ferguson put in a number of decent crosses from the left and his display has led to Rangers fans calling for him to start in the second leg.

For Newcastle fans, we wonder whether Shane Ferguson and/or Haris Vuckic will end up being announced as ‘like a new signing’ this summer as NUFC have a massive job in terms of bouncing back from the mess of the season just gone.

Whilst there are claims of a spending spree by Mike Ashley, it is hard to see all the gaping holes being filled by outside signings.

Amazingly, despite being so out of the first team fixture at Newcastle for so long, both Shane Ferguson and Haris Vuckic still have a year left of their contracts remaining at St. James’ Park.

A disastrous polocy of handing ridiculously long contracts to young players who’d achieved nothing, saw Haris Vuckic awarded a new five and half year contract in January 2011, whilst Shane Ferguson was given a new five year deal in summer 2016 (back in the day even Nile Ranger was awarded a five year deal).

Mike Ashley was due a £500,000 bonus if the Newcastle loan players helped Rangers into the Premier League this season but with hopes of that fading he won’t be best pleased, nor is he likely to be thinking of doing the Glasgow club any ‘favours’ as he faces conflict with the new Rangers board over his crippling contracts via Sports Direct.

So as for the future of the five Newcastle loan players who were sent up to Rangers, they are now waiting to see what Mike Ashley’s next move is for them all, like moving pawns around a chess board.

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  • Hughie

    Highly unlikely–they have already rightly been discarded as sub-PL standard, having had many chances to prove othewwise.

  • Hez

    Both injury prone, always out injured, waste of space the pair of them

  • Jarmin Geordie

    Hez Maybe just injury prone at Newcastle, Vuckic hasn’t missed a game since he crossed the border

  • desree

    a decent coach might get something out of them

  • Kevin Halliday

    Good for young Fergie. Canny player, always willing to take his man on. If he doesn’t come back to us, I hope he does well.

  • Big Al 1967

    Hughie Hard to judge as under the coaching set up at St James’ virtualyy every player has gone backwards so we will never know if they were up to it

  • lupamac

    Jarmin Geordie
     on a par with Nile Ranger but better behaved ..Rangers you can have him

  • myoungy2805

    NUFCTheMag always looked lively wen he played for us, like bigi plated few decent games then pushed out into the cold???

  • mentalman

    I think he proved he was up to the standard but our manager at the time was quick to discard players like him and bigi when his favoured square pegs returned

  • toonterrier

    The good thing about seeing Fergie play last night was that he was in a losing side so should fit in nicely for us if Charva gets the job next season, Has potential but maybe better to go out on loan again until he proves his worth and fitness.

  • keeganRescueUs

    He was given a contract in 2016? Where’s that time machine I’ll get next week’s lottery numbers

  • Steve1221

    He looked lively and turned the game by stretching the play but he didn’t show much quality, Vuckic looked a class above every other player on the pitch even if he was quiet by his recent standards