Rangers manager Steven Gerrard singled out Kyle Lafferty for praise in the wake of last night’s win over Cowdenbeath, just a day after challenging him to prove he has what it takes to shine in his first-team.
Lafferty has struggled to win a regular starting spot in Gerrard’s starting eleven but was given the nod for the 10th time this season last night in Fife, after missing out on the matchday squad completely at the weekend.
Before the match, Gerrard told The Scottish Sun that the forward had everything to prove, saying: “Kyle’s just got to keep his head down and work as hard as he can. There will be opportunities in the short, medium and long term for him. We still think he can contribute here and he’s got a big part to play. But I’m interested to see what reaction he gives to being left out of the 18. That’s the same for every player.”
Getting himself on the scoresheet in the 3-1 Scottish Cup win, his first goal since September, Gerrard certainly got the right reaction from the Northern Ireland international and singled him out for praise after the match, calling his contribution ‘positive’.
As quoted by The Daily Record, the Ibrox boss said: “Kyle needed that goal. I thought he was lively at times. He played at a left forward in the first half,moved closer to Jermain in the second half. His performance was a positive.”
With competition fierce in the attacking areas given the form of Alfredo Morelos and the arrival of Jermain Defoe, Lafferty may have to remain patient for his next chance in the first-team, but it certainly bodes well that Gerrard is feeling he gets what he needs from the summer signing.
Hopefully he can now push on and start delivering goals on a more regular basis, whether from the start of matches or when coming off the bench.