The 39-year-old former captain of West Bromwich Albion, Gareth McAuley is presently performing well at centre half for Glasgow Rangers.

McAuley is a natural leader and a superb organiser of his defence. Steven Gerrard knows that he will have to change Gareth’s training regime differently to the younger players in the squad.

Due to his age and the amount of games he has played recently, McAuley will have to train in a similar way ex-Ranger David Weir was allowed to. 

Weir was trusted to train to suit himself, as long as he kept himself fully fit, and experienced Northern Irish internationalist should be able to do the same.

McAuley played 227 games in the English Premier League for West Brom over a period of seven-years and scored 17 goals, most of them from free kicks and corners. 

He also appeared in 79 games for Northern Ireland and scored nine goals during a successful seven seasons period.

McAuley has brought his vast experience to the Rangers defence which can only help 21-year-old’s Nikola Katic and Joe Worrall in the long term. 

This new Rangers side are nearly all young guys therefore, it has got to be good to have experienced goalie Allan McGregor and McAuley both playing in the same defence.

Their attitude in training and behaviour off the park should be terrific examples for younger colleagues to try and emulate.

Gerrard will undoubtedly rest his veteran centre back for certain games, but playing Hibernian away would certainly not be the right place to do it.

Hibs who deservedly beat Celtic 2-0 in Edinburgh on Saturday, is always a notoriously difficult place for Rangers to gain all three points.

Therefore, I feel that 6’ 5” McAuley should definitely play against Hibs at Easter Road on Wednesday night.

There is no doubt that Rangers will have to perform much better than they have been in recent games, if they are to win all three points.

A Light Blues win would be enough for the Ibrox club to remain in first place in the league, until next Saturday.

Connor Goldson and McAuley have been the centre back partnership that has started four out of the last five matches, when Rangers have conceded very few goals. 

I was pleased to hear Gerrard being so fulsome in his praise for McAuley, as I prefer him to the other three centre backs presently in the squad.

The veteran has taken to playing for Rangers in the SPFL, like a duck takes to water, let’s hope he can keep it up for the rest of the season.


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