Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is certain that Jack Simpson is “ready” to take his chance in the first-team as the Gers boss confirmed he’d spoken with the defender a few days ago to tell him to “keep doing what you’re doing”.

Simpson has found opportunities hard to come by since his move north from Bournemouth and Gerrard took responsibility for that with Simpson potentially in line to feature due to Fil Helander’s injury.

While Simpson won’t be available to play on Thursday, Gerrard has been impressed with how he has acquitted himself since returning for pre-season earlier in the summer.

“Jack Simpson is ready,” Gerrard said [Rangers TV]. “I had a chat with Jack a couple of days ago and I said, ‘look, you keep doing what you are doing and this is on me, as I can’t find him enough appearances at the moment,” Gerrard said [Rangers TV].

 

“But, his opportunity might come on the back of this. Hopefully, Fil is going to pull through, and we obviously get Connor [Goldson] back pretty quickly, but Jack is ready.

“He is a great pro and has been fantastic since the first day of pre-season and is learning all the time.

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“I am pleased I have got four top centre-halves.”

Simpson has only made two appearances this season as he looks to try and force his way into Gerrard’s plans at Ibrox.

The timing of Helander’s injury couldn’t have been worse, coming just over a week after Rangers’ Europa League squad – minus Simpson – was confirmed.

Rangers v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Simpson booked during last season’s final Old Firm at Ibrox. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, he should now get some domestic football if Helander is out long-term with Gerrard left with only three fit central defenders.

Meanwhile, Rangers Europa League squad decision presents defensive crisis ahead of Lyon clash

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