If the Ibrox men wanted to show they could manage without the Croatian, they went about their work emphatically here.
Goals from David Healy, Sone Aluko and an own goal from Stephen Craigan ensured Ally McCoist’s men bounced back from their two defeats to Celtic and St Mirren over the Christmas period.
The big story pre-match was that Nikica Jelavic had been left out the squad all together with rumours rife that he would never play for the club again. However, after the match McCoist confirmed the striker had been left out due to a recurring groin injury.
His absence meant there was an all Northern Irish partnership up front for Rangers with David Healy making his first start for four months as he joined countryman Kyle Lafferty in attack.
But that partnership was broken up after only eight minutes as Lafferty pulled up and had to go off the field. He was replaced by youngster John Fleck, who had looked set for a move to Sheffield United on loan, before the injury crisis affecting the Rangers frontmen.
Early chances were few and far between with both keepers having little to do in the wild conditions.
Lee Wallace looked to be through on goal, but Shaun Hutchinson made an important tackle before Rangers captain Steve Davis curled in a free-kick that Darren Randolph easily collected.
Sasa Papac then created a wonderful chance for Healy midway through the first half but he sent his header over the bar.
The Northern Ireland record goalscorer was to make amends for that miss on 35 minutes when he collected a pass from Maurice Edu and slotted past Randolph to give Rangers the lead.
Motherwell had been poor throughout the opening 45, but did give Rangers a couple of scares before half-time as Michael Higdon first failed to convert a header then looped a shot over Allan McGregor’s bar.
Stuart McCall made two changes at the break with Jamie Murphy and former Rangers man Stephen Hughes making way for Chris Humphrey and Omar Daley.
However, it was Rangers who continued their dominance as the second half got under way with Lee Wallace seeing his shot well saved by Randolph before Carlos Bocanegra saw a shot cleared off the line by Tom Hateley.
Rangers dominance finally paid dividends ten minutes into the second half when some nice work between Davis and Healy saw them pick out Aluko, who dropped his shoulder and fired low past Randolph.
Davis then almost got on the scoresheet himself as Healy set him up before his drive was parried away by the superb Randolph.
Randolph again came to his sides rescue when he clawed away an attempted clearance from Hutchinson that was heading in.
But he couldn’t prevent Stephen Craigan turning in Wallace’s cross on 72 minutes to wrap up all 3 points for Rangers.
It will be a testing and nervous month for the Ibrox side, but here they started it in the best way possible.