A telling post-Livingston comment from Gary McAllister shows that the Rangers coaching staff shared fan fears about Steven Davis’ workload [RangersTV].
Prior to Wednesday night’s Premier Sports Cup quarter-final at Ibrox, the veteran midfielder had featured in all but one of the Gers’ 2021/22 fixtures.
What’s more, all of his appearances had come from the start, with only one of them lasting less than 80 minutes.
Fans were becoming concerned at a recent dip in his performance levels that was understandably being attributed to fatigue.
After all, earlier this month, rather than recharging his batteries during the international break, Davis turned out twice for Northern Ireland in World Cup Qualifying.
The continued absence of Ryan Jack and failings in the transfer market have made it more difficult to rest the 36-year-old, but he was finally taken out of the team against Livingston.
He was named on the bench for the Ibrox fixture but wasn’t required, with the hosts securing a relatively comfortable 2-0 victory to progress to the last four.
After the match, when discussing standout individuals, McAllister made a point of mentioning how important the rest will be for Davis.
“Davo is someone who has played a lot of football this season already and we’re only going into October,” he said [RangersTV]. “He’s had a big international schedule as well, so a rest for him tonight will do him good.”
McAllister’s telling comment shows it wasn’t just the fans who were concerned about too much being asked of Davis.
Ideally, he wouldn’t have been involved in the matchday squad at all, but the Gers simply don’t have the kind of cover right now that would allow such a move to be made without it being a major risk.
The fact that the veteran wasn’t required from the bench, though, means that he should be in a much better place going into three big fixtures before the October international block against Dundee, Sparta Prague and Hibernian.
Before his Davis comment, McAllister said ‘big credit’ for the win over Livi must go to a ‘quality’ performer.