Speaking after Wednesday night’s victory over St Johnstone, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard confirmed that a bounce match has been arranged for next week.
“We have a game behind closed doors next week for the likes of Kemar [Roofe] and we’ll do everything we can to get him up to speed,” he said, as quoted by the Glasgow Times.
Clearly, the fixture will provide an opportunity for new signings Roofe and Cedric Itten to get minutes under their belt in their new surroundings.
The game is also set to be important for players currently on the fringes of the first-team squad, who’ve been short of opportunities since the end of pre-season.
Here are three Rangers players we think need to shine next week:
1. Greg Stewart
Stewart impressed at times when given an opportunity in domestic competition last season but new signings such as Ianis Hagi and Kemar Roofe have pushed him further down the pecking order at Ibrox.
The 30-year-old was given 13 minutes off the bench in the Europa League against Bayer Leverkusen last week but he missed a good chance in the closing stages and has since been omitted from the squad for consecutive Premiership fixtures.
He’s in need of a big display next week to get himself back into the manager’s thoughts.
2. Jordan Jones
Steven Gerrard disproved a Daily Record report which suggested Jones had no part to play for the first-team this season by bringing him on with 25 minutes remaining at the BayArena last Thursday night.
The Northern Ireland international was lively but failed to create anything noteworthy and as a result, he didn’t manage to make the bench against St Johnstone on Wednesday night.
With a number of Championship clubs reportedly interested in his signature [Belfast Live], Jones needs to start producing sooner rather than later, or his days as a Rangers player could be numbered.
3. Brandon Barker
After a poor first season in Glasgow, Barker impressed plenty of Bears with his performances against top opposition in pre-season.
However, when the pacey 23-year-old was selected ahead of Ianis Hagi against Bayer Leverkusen, he didn’t quite make the impact his manager had hoped he would.
The ex-Manchester City winger has made every matchday squad so far this season, but a strong showing in next week’s bounce game could convince Gerrard that he’s deserving of more starting opportunities.