Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has confirmed that he’s “aware of the speculation” surrounding Gers winger Jordan Jones – and admitted that the Northern Irishman has returned from injury “with the bit between his teeth.”
Jones has been sidelined since picking up an injury in September’s Old Firm defeat at Ibrox and made his comeback in the 6-1 friendly rout of Lokomotiv Tashkent on Saturday – with several English clubs credited with an interest in the 25-year-old.
Gerrard was impressed with Jones’ performance against Tashkent and challenged the winger to force his way into the starting XI after returning to fitness.
“We’re aware of the speculation but we’ve had nothing on the table for Jordan,” Gerrard said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“He’s one of probably six to eight players where there is speculation and a lot of noise around them.
“He’s a good player but he’s had a frustrating time. He started his Rangers career really strongly and it looked as if he was going to contribute really heavily but then he was missing 12 weeks.
“We were waiting for the real Jordan to stand up just before the break, but he probably just ran out of time. However, on the evidence of Tashkent he looks like he’s come back with the bit between his teeth and that’s what I want to see.
“I want to see him trying to force his way into the 11 and he did himself no harm as I thought his performance was really good.”
The 25-year-old managed ten appearances for Gerrard’s side before getting injured and his time on the sidelines will have done him no favours in his bid for a starting place.
Jones will likely start Friday’s Scottish Cup clash with Stranraer as he looks to kick-start his Ibrox career and Gerrard’s comments seem to suggest Jones isn’t going anywhere this month.
The winger has several months of lost time to make up for and he’ll have to really hit the ground running if he’s going to force his way into the starting XI over the coming weeks.