Attacking midfielder Josh Windass has impressed Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha in pre-season, and the Portuguese manager says he has “huge potential”.
However, the 46-year-old still wants to see more from the Englishman, who he feels needs to add more self-belief to his game.
Windass – son of former Bradford City and Hull City striker Dean – started his career as a junior with Huddersfield Town, but moved to Accrington Stanley before making a senior appearance.
Rangers signed him for a reported fee of £60,000 last summer and he scored one goal in 27 matches last season.
Caixinha fielded him in pre-season friendlies against Watford and Sheffield Wednesday, which the Glasgow side drew and won respectively.
He also featured in the 2-0 Europa League qualifying defeat to Progres Niederkorn.
After watching him score the first goal in Rangers’ 2-0 win over Wednesday, Caixinha said he was impressed with the 23-year-old’s performances.
“Josh is a nice boy and a very good player, with huge potential,” Caixinha told the club’s official website.
“We just need to work with him on the mental side in order for him to have more self-confidence and to believe more in himself.
“We’re looking for him to have a more regular state of play and we want more from him.”
And Caixinha explained why he thinks Windass is better suited to playing in the wide channels – as he did against Wednesday.
“He played more in the wide area and I think it suits him better changing the pattern of playing wide and helping inside, playing between the lines and more connections with the strikers and central midfielders,” he said.
“That is what Josh can give to us and he is doing really well and is going to help us definitely and will make sure that the team and squad is more competitive by having more options for us.”
Those include new signings Dalcio, Graham Dorrans, Ryan Jack and Carlos Pena as well as Jason Holt, meaning Windass faces significant competition if he wants to nail down a first-team place.
Rangers fans will hope that Caixinha’s words can help Windass push on and develop his game.
With such a major squad upheaval going on at Ibrox, such words of encouragement from the manager should benefit a player who is still young in terms of top-flight experience.
Caixinha has so far brought in nine new players ahead of the new season and Rangers take on Motherwell on Saturday in their opening Premiership game.