Kyle Lafferty’s chances to impress at Ibrox have been fairly minimal, but now he has a huge one.
Steven Gerrard believes the club only really have two recognised strikers in their squad. Lafferty is one of those as is star-man Alfredo Morelos. Therefore, with Morelos’ suspension coming into effect at the weekend, Lafferty has a huge chance to impress.
So far, the Rangers supporters have been furious with him. He hasn’t looked the part and continuously looks sloppy and wasteful when in possession. He’s also only scored five goals in 15 club appearances since signing from Hearts for a seven-figure sum.
Supporters and the management team will have expected more from him. His goal was to push Morelos and take the goal-burden off of him. Has he done that? Definitely not as he continues to struggle making an impact.
Now, he has a chance very similar to the one Umar Sadiq had against Aberdeen in the Betfred Cup final. Being the only recognised striker available, the onus will be on Lafferty to score the vital goals over the next two matches.
The length of the Morelos suspension
It’s unclear yet just how long Morelos will be out for. He was already scheduled to miss this Sunday’s clash with Dundee due to accumulating too many yellow cards. Receiving two yellow cards in the one game, however, should only lead to a one-match omission from the squad. Whether his previous suspension therefore carries over to the weekend after remains to be seen.
Lafferty, however, is going to get the opportunities now that he was craving. Only earlier this week did he state his frustration at a lack of game-time. Now, all of a sudden, he’s going to be the main man.
The next couple of domestic matches against both Dundee and Hamilton are of vital importance. Six points are a must and whoever is performing up top has to make his mark. Lafferty simply couldn’t ask for a pair of simpler fixtures to start performing in.
It’s long overdue that he stepped up in a Rangers jersey. He didn’t do it last night and he hasn’t done it since joining. If he doesn’t do it again over the next couple of fixtures, expect him to become third-choice striker in January.