Alan Hutton admits he has been stunned by the resurgence of both Jordan Jones and Brandon Barker at Rangers this season.
The former Gers and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has lauded the pair of wingers for bouncing back from a difficult first season at Ibrox to become first-team regulars for Steven Gerrard.
Barker managed to make just 13 appearances last term following his move from Manchester City, while Jones played two games more before injury limited his availability.
However, the 24-year-old has already started three times in six appearances this season, while the 25-year-old Northern Ireland star has recently returned to the side with two starts and a substitute outing.
Hutton admits he did not think Barker nor Jones would be among Gerrard’s starting XI this term and that the duo have done exceptionally well to force their way back into the plans at Ibrox.
Asked what his response would have been had he been told before the season kicked off that the pair would be playing a starring role for Rangers, Hutton told Football Insider: “I’d have said: ‘How many drinks have you had?’
“It just shows you they’ve obviously been given an opportunity. I presume that Gerrard maybe said to them at the start: ‘Look, you’re at Rangers, this is your final chance to go out there and prove that you deserve to be at this club.
“Fair play to them, they’ve get their heads down, they’ve worked hard, they’ve had to bide their time and they’ve got their opportunities and they’ve grasped it. That’s all you can do as a player if you’ve been given the opportunity is take it.
“I think Jordan Jones has come in and been excellent, like, really, really good. I think he was unfortunate to not play from the start in the European game, especially after his European performance.
“This is what happens, just keep showing the good attitude, when you’ve been given an opportunity just keep showing you’re willing to work hard, put in good performances on the pitch.
“It shows you that Gerrard is the type of guy, if you’re doing well in training and stuff, he’ll give you the opportunity and he’s done that with both these players. They’ve both got great attributes moving forward. They can be game-changers.”
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