Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has revealed that he brought in Jon Flanagan to help his side adopt a more defensive approach to matches, and not to replace any of the full-backs already at the club.
The Gers boss admitted that the duo of Declan John and James Tavernier are very attack-minded as full-backs, and when the occasion calls for more defensive play Flanagan will be the player to shore things up at the back.
“If you look at our two attacking full-backs they are very good at what they do, but in certain games we’ll need to go a different way” Gerrard said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
“We can’t just attack and go gung-ho against every single team. Sometimes we’ll need to stiffen it up and go a bit safer, and Jon gives us that option.
He’s well aware of why I’ve brought him in. Some of the challenges I’ll be giving to him will be different. He hasn’t come in to fight for Tavernier’s place or Declan John’s.
“Flanagan has come in to be an important squad member and do the job I ask him to do.”
Football Insider verdict
Steven Gerrard is showing a real insight into his management abilities with his latest comments. He obviously recognises, even though he has not managed the club for long, that the Gers are often far too open at the back, and the signing of Jon Flanagan will try to remedy that. His comments about Declan John and James Tavernier are also very interesting, as perhaps it had been assumed that at least one of those players could be on the way out of Ibrox after the arrival of Flanagan. It seems not however, as Flanagan looks to have been signed to compliment the players that are already at the club, and not take the place of them, if that is possible. If will be intriguing to see who gets the nod to start in the full-back roles at Ibrox when the Gers begin their Europa League campaign next month, the starters could well alternate for the home and the away leg.
In other Rangers news, Andy Halliday is enjoying pre-season with the Gers