Ross McCrorie has to be delighted with St Johnstone win
Photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images

Ross McCrorie has to be delighted with St Johnstone win

Ross McCrorie’s first-team prospects have taken a hit in recent times.

It’s only natural given the quality that Steven Gerrard brought in that McCrorie was pushed down the pecking order. Scott Arfield, Ovie Ejaria and Lassana Coulibaly all came in to occupy his spot in the Gers midfield.

It’s been perhaps the toughest period of McCrorie’s youthful Rangers career so far. Muscled out of the side by star-signings and not seeing many windows of opportunity to get back in. Therefore, when he gets an opportunity in any form nowadays, he simply has no option but to thrive in it.

Ross McCrorie (second from the right) has impressed this season when called upon (MB Media/Getty Images)

That’s exactly what happened on Sunday against St Johnstone.

McCrorie was tasked with anchoring the midfield and giving it some balance against the Saints. The youngster will have been relieved at the call to do so. After all, he was sent off in his last match at Ibrox against St Mirren. In this Gerrard side, you don’t want to be giving the manager any reason to drop you.

The manager was correct to stand by McCrorie, however. It’s clear that Gerrard is enjoying what he’s seeing from the youngster, and he still has a big future at Ibrox.

Playing with a spark

Of course, he was coming into this contest on a high. Captaining Scotland’s under-21s to two big results against Andorra and the Netherlands was hugely impressive. In truth, it’s just another box ticked in his rise to stardom.

Yet a lack of first-team games remains a concern. It was vital that the youngster didn’t put a foot wrong at Ibrox on Sunday. If he did, then goodness knows how far down the pecking order he would’ve been. Particularly considering the likes of Graham Dorrans and Andy Halliday are breathing down his neck.

McCrorie captained Scotland Under-21s to a tremendous double-header win against Andorra and the Netherlands (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Even more impressive was the fact that Gerrard forced him to change to right-back when James Tavernier came off. That was a telling moment in how adaptable McCrorie could be. Suddenly, he’s looking like a versatile performer and a very reliable man for Gerrard to have available.

Fans were delighted to see the Hummel Training Centre graduate perform so impressively. It’s now of vital importance he keeps being steady in his future displays. That’s all fans are bothered about when it comes to McCrorie. No flashy tricks. No Hollywood passes. Just a steady display to help ease Rangers to victory.

In that sense, it was job done against Saints. Hopefully for McCrorie, that’s just the first of many more impressive displays to come.