Former Rangers star Andy Little has praised Ibrox defender Nathan Patterson for the way he has bounced back from his involvement in the controversial party that saw five Gers players caught breaching Covid guidelines.

Patterson, Calvin Bassey, Bongani Zungu and Academy pair Brian Kinnear and Dapo Mebude were caught breaching the rules in February and Little has been “delighted” to see Patterson grab a couple of goals as he looks to put it all behind him and impress on the pitch.

Rangers FC v Royal Antwerp FC - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg Two

Patterson celebrates scoring against Royal Antwerp (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Northern Irishman also thinks the emergence of Patterson as a viable challenger to James Tavernier is the “fruits” of Gerrard’s insistence he has two players in each position, with the Scotland under-21 star already seeing the benefit.

“I think it is clear to see he’s already benefitted,” Little said [Essential Podcasts].

“Steven Gerrard said very early on that he wanted two players for each position and this is it. This is the fruits of what he was building and Nathan Patterson has stepped in to massive shoes and performed admirably.

“There’s a wee debate there over whether James Tavernier comes straight back in. I’m sure he will but Nathan Patterson, having dealt with some very, very difficult stuff as a young player, he finally broke into the team to then go through what he did, it’s a difficult thing to deal with as a young player.

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“Glasgow is a city where you can quickly turn from back pages to front pages and from flavour of the month to villain, and he’s dealt with that really, really well and responded. I’m delighted to see him get in amongst the goals and it’s massive credit to the Academy.”

Injury to James Tavernier has given Patterson a chance to impress in the side and the full-back has grabbed it with both hands after a series on eye-catching performances.

With Tavernier due back soon, it will likely see the game-time for Patterson reduce again, leaving Gerrard win a difficult situation on his hands to maximise Patterson’s development.

Rangers v Cove Rangers - William Hill Scottish Cup Third Round

The defender makes it 4-0 in the Scottish Cup win over Cove(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

A loan move next season could be a possibility but whether Rangers will be able – or willing – to replace Patterson in the short-term could make that hard to make work.

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