Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was full of praise for Glenn Middleton’s training commitment after today’s hammering of Motherwell.
The youngster scored his fifth goal of the season in the win over Steve Robinson’s men, and assisted one. Rangers ran out ridiculously comfortable 7-1 winners against the Steelmen.
The result threw Rangers right up to third once more. They are now level on points with Hearts in second place, and just two behind Celtic at the top. Celtic’s 0-0 draw at Livingston gave Rangers the chance to pull some points back, and Middleton was central to doing that.
Gerrard was quick to notice that post-match, and when asked about his performance by Rangers TV, he said the following:
“To be fair to Glenn he works hard. When people are coming in from the training ground he wants to stay out. I’m having to drag him in every single day. He’s working on free-kicks, he’s working on his crossing, and that’s the way he’s got to be.
“He’s got to be obsessed with improving. I’m very pleased with Glenn, he’s had a big week. I think it’s very important now that Scotland look after him.
“He’s got three games in 10 days which I’m very concerned about. I hope he gets the same care and attention shown to him there that he does at Ibrox.”
Middleton’s schedule is a clear concern for Gerrard, and so it should be. The winger travels to Wales on Wednesday before the young Scots host San Marino on Saturday. Another home match with Sweden next Tuesday will round off a trio of UEFA Euro Under-19 Qualification matches.
With Ryan Kent still sidelined ahead of the international break, it’s imperative nothing happens with Middleton. Speculation of a loan deal has now died down after another stunning individual display against the 10-man Steelmen.
Middleton is slowly becoming a player that Rangers can rely upon on this stage. Domestically, he can trouble most defences in Scotland, and is really coming on to a game nicely under Gerrard.
His attitude in the training ground shouldn’t be a surprise either. This is one of the happiest looking players supporters will remember at Ibrox. No surprises then that getting him off the training pitch is such a chore for Gerrard.
The winger has done fantastically well to throw himself into first-team reckoning. He’s no longer an afterthought, and with each fine individual performance he continues to raise the bar.
Rangers will now just be hoping he can have a smooth week-and-a-half on international duty.