Ryan Jack’s return from injury was a big factor heading into tonight’s clash with Spartak Moscow.
The 0-0 draw at Ibrox was an anti-climactic in the extreme, especially given how confident many Gers fans were pre-match. The draw sees the Gers remain top of their Europa League group ahead of Villarreal.
There was plenty of endeavor from the Gers players. The likes of Daniel Candeias, Ovie Ejaria, and Alfredo Morelos ran themselves into the ground.
But there was one standout in the contest, and that was Jack.
The former Aberdeen midfielder is a fans-favorite, and not only because he’s a born and bred Ranger. Jack typifies everything about this new Steven Gerrard reign at Ibrox.
He’s well-known for being a solid grafter, and gets stuck in doing the dirty work that many shirk away from. That was once again evident in the draw with Spartak tonight.
Jack brought a composure to Rangers in the midfield that was often not there in his colleagues tonight. Lassana Coulibaly looked like he was struggling for form once again. Ejaria, meanwhile, despite all of his hard work, didn’t look polished in his passing.
A real standout
Jack was a standout tonight with his composure and quality on the ball. To the casual viewer, it might seem as though the Scottish international doesn’t do an awful lot. For Rangers fans, however, he’s so much more than just another midfielder.
The Gers star had made 12 appearances for Rangers and Scotland before his injury cost him key game-time. It initially looked as though his place in the midfield had been lost. Ejaria and Coulibaly had been performing fairly well, and with results continuing to be positive, Jack had his work cut out.
He opened up on his injury hell before the Spartak match, and it’s clear he’s been working hard during his stint on the sidelines. He looked like one of the fittest players on the park. Even though Gerrard brought him off on 67 minutes, it looked precautionary more than anything.
He’s now given the Gers manager a big decision to make for future squad selections. Jordan Rossiter also returned against Hamilton and put in a solid display. With Ejaria, Coulibaly, Andy Halliday, and Ross McCrorie all available, the competition is growing once more in the engine room.
Jack, however, has slammed down a marker for his inclusion against Aberdeen on Sunday.