Rangers starlet Sands shown 'phenomenal' faith by GvB - McLeish

By Alex McLeish

20th Jan, 2022 | 10:32am

McLeish blown away by 'phenomenal' Sands decision at Rangers

Alex McLeish was blown away by Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s decision to hand James Sands his Rangers debut against Aberdeen.

The former Gers boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the trip to Pittodrie was a “phenomenal game” for the 21-year-old to make his first appearance in.

Recent signing Sands was named among the starting XI for Tuesday’s (18 January) 1-1 draw with the Dons.

The midfielder, on loan from New York City FC, lasted the full 90 minutes.

McLeish admitted Van Bronckhorst had shown Sands “great faith” by throwing him straight into the starting XI.

He suggested the USA international would keep his place for Friday’s Scottish Cup tie against Stirling Albion.

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“That is a phenomenal game to throw him into, away at Aberdeen,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“Aberdeen were a nemesis for Rangers many years back. Pittodrie is still a hard place to go, especially for a guy making his debut.

“That was a great show of faith.

“I would expect, for the sake of momentum, he will probably play in the next game in the cup. Why not?”

Sands was partnered with Glen Kamara and Ianis Hagi in the middle of the park.

The likes of Steven Davis, Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack all missed out through injury.

Meanwhile, Joe Aribo is currently away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations.

Sands joined Rangers on an 18-month loan from New York City earlier this month, having played 76 times for the MLS outfit.

In other news, Rangers tipped to strike cut-price deal after six-figure transfer update.