Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister has raved about an Ibrox star who made a big impact in the Premier Sports Cup quarter-final win over Livingston [RangersTV].

The Gers progressed to the final four of the competition with a 2-0 victory under the lights at Ibrox on Wednesday night.

Rangers v St. Johnstone - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Rangers assistant McAllister raved about substitute Ianis Hagi’s impact vs Livingston. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It was a familiarly lacklustre performance from the hosts in the first half but Ianis Hagi was brought on at the interval and he’d notched an assist within three minutes of his introduction.

The Romania international squared for Kemar Roofe to score his fifth goal of the season, before an error from visiting keeper Max Stryjek in the 63rd minute allowed Alfredo Morelos to make it 2-0.

Hagi had missed the previous three matches after testing positive for Covid whilst on international duty and McAllister heaped praised on the 22-year-old’s comeback display.

“The manager makes a decision at half-time to flip Ianis on for Scotty Wright and it paid dividends because what we were asking for was that wee bit of guile, that wee bit of quality and Ianis brought it,” he said [RangersTV]. “It was a lovely bit of play to get the assist for Kemar Roofe.”

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“Big credit to Ianis because it’s tough. He’s had Covid and ten days of quarantine – he’s only been back a couple of days.

“I thought he looked sharp, bright and alert and he brought something different to the game and that’s what we needed.”

 

High praise from McAllister for Hagi, then, but few who were at Ibrox or tuned in on TV would argue with the assistant boss.

Fans took to social media to bemoan the absence of the former Fiorentina and Genk player after the weekend draw with Motherwell and his impact against Livi could hardly have been more obvious.

Hagi now has two goals and two assists from seven appearances this season and it would be a major surprise if he wasn’t rewarded for his efforts with a place in the starting XI against Dundee on Saturday.

In other news, five Rangers players have received youth international call-ups.

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