Derek Johnstone has backed Steven Gerrard to blood youth in the post-split fixtures, in his Evening Times column.

The legendary Gers striker believes the manager’s first priority will be securing second place.

That shouldn’t be a problem, with five games remaining and an eight-point gap between themselves and Aberdeen.

Rangers have struggled against the Dons this season, but are still comfortably ahead of them. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Once that is sewn up, he believes Gerrard will use the opportunity to experiment.

“It is one thing seeing them [young players] behind closed doors or in friendly fixtures, but you need to know if they can handle the atmosphere at Ibrox, if they are ready for a competitive game”, wrote Johnstone, in the Evening Times.

“Rangers have a lot of emphasis on the Academy right now and there are a number of really promising young players within the system at the moment.

Want to have your say?

Join our Rangers forum now!

 

“Supporters always like to see players coming through the ranks and getting their chance.

“And I am sure Steven will do that in the coming weeks if the kids prove that they have earned it and that they are good enough to make that step up.”

Glenn Middleton had a breakout 2018, but has only featured twice since Christmas. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Verdict

Many of the best young talent the club has to offer is currently out on loan. Robby McCrorie and Andrew Dallas are at Morton, while Zak Rudden is at Falkirk and Jordan Houston representing Aidriedonians.

Furthermore, Ryan Hardie is leading the line for Livingston and Serge Atakayi has recently joined SJK Seinajoki.

However, the likes of Stephen Kelly, Dapo Mebude and Glenn Middleton are still around.

Steven Kelly played for the Gers against Ayr United earlier this season. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Gerrard will surely want to finish the season on a high with a run of victories. However, he knows the value being placed on development at the club right now.

Therefore, it would be reasonable to expect a few cameos from homegrown youngsters during the run in.