Rangers captain James Tavernier will be driven to improve by Nathan Patterson’s progress and the growing fight for the right-back slot, according to Danny Mills.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the former England right-back claimed Tavernier will help mentor the 19-year-old but will not give up his place easily.
Light Blues sporting director Ross Wilson confirmed in a recent Q&A that the club were pleased with Patterson’s progress and he was now a permanent member of the first-team squad.
Tavernier has started every game in all competitions this season and has netted an impressive 12 goals and provided nine assists from defence.
And Mills believes he will be motivated to carry on his rich vein of form.
He told Football Insider: “You need strength in depth and of course as a young player you look up to senior players and see what they’re doing and they can learn for them.
“I’m sure he will give him tips, but Tavernier will want to make sure that he continues to play at the level he’s at so the younger generation don’t get a chance.
“When younger players are coming through you think ‘you want my shirt, I’m not going to give it to you, you’re going to have to rip it off my back, you’re going to have to be playing so well that the manager has no other option but to leave me out.’
“It will not be something Tavernier will be prepared to give away easily. Competition for places drives players.
“Players want to play, people go on about money but the most important thing is playing week in, week out, being the first choice.
“If there’s competition for places it raises your game.
“This is why teams at the top of the table and win things have big squads because they all want to play and they drive each other on because they know if they don’t perform they’ll be out of the side.”
In other Rangers news, Steven Gerrard has been told to “get shot” of a Light Blues star after a big reveal.