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Keen to play: Jack Simpson is eager to get more game time with Rangers

Keen to play: Jack Simpson is eager to get more game time with Rangers

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Keen to play: Jack Simpson is eager to get more game time with Rangers

Steven Gerrard has warned Jack Simpson he will have to remain patient as the new signing eyes up a place in the Rangers line-up.

The 24-year-old was finally handed his Gers debut on Sunday three weeks on from making his deadline day move from Bournemouth.

He was given the final 23 minutes as the runaway leaders strolled to a 4-1 win over Dundee United.

And having sampled his first taste of action in a blue jersey, centre-back Simpson admits he is desperate for more.

But with Rangers potentially just three wins from being crowned champions for the first time in 10 years - with Celtic Park on March 21 the likely venue for the title party - Gerrard admits he cannot now turn his back on the defenders who have taken the Light Blues this far.

"We will have to see (if Jack will be more involved in the remaining weeks) as we have got the luxury of having centre-backs who have performed ever so well over the season," said the Rangers manager.

"We got Jack in early, which was a bonus really, and we didn't expect to get him in so early.

"Sunday's game presented an opportunity to get him moving. He has been patient and waited for his debut, and if we need to use him we will use him.

"He has to keep fighting for more performances from now until the end of the season and I am sure he will get them.

"It is very difficult to say to players 'you are not playing today' when they have been performing ever so well and keeping a lot of clean sheets, and we have put ourselves in this position in the league and Europe with other players. I am not saying I prefer those players, but they deserve to play and deserve the shirt, and Jack needs to keep pushing and be patient and wait for his moments to come."

Simpson was introduced with Gers four goals up but Marc McNulty's late strike denied Rangers a 14th Premiership clean sheet from 15 home games this season.

Simpson told RangersTV: "I am delighted to have made my debut and the most important thing is three points.

"But, especially from the back four and goalkeeper's point of view, we are disappointed to concede a sloppy goal towards the end there as clean sheets mean a lot to us with the standards we set here. So I am pleased, but also a little disappointed.

"The standard is very high here. Just coming in to training, everyone is on it here and not even just on the pitch, but around the training ground and the gym, everyone is expected to do everything they can to be ready for match day.

"So I have been very impressed so far. I feel like the more I learn how the team plays and the more game time I get, the more comfortable I feel and I think I had can add something. "

• VIDAR Riseth has told Celtic 'don't get mad, get even' as they face the nightmare of a Rangers title party at Parkhead.

The former Hoops midfielder knows to his cost what happens when players lose their heads in the heat of an Old Firm battle.

The Norwegian was one of three men sent off at Celtic Park as Rangers celebrated a championship win with a controversy-filled derby win at the home of their bitter rivals back in 1999.

"To lose the league at home to Rangers is the worst thing. We all felt shame, we felt angry, we were thinking about the fans. We know the rivalry, the fans hate each other so you don't want to give the other side reason to gloat.

"My message to the current team if they end up in the same situation next month is to only think about the next minute of the game. Don't go out thinking I'm going to show the fans something or end up being crazy and kicking someone."

Belfast Telegraph


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