By Russell Edge

27th Feb, 2020 | 6:00pm

Rangers youngsters promoted to first-team training at Auchenhowie - Ibrox Exclusive

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has promoted several promising youngsters from the development squad to first-team training at Auchenhowie, Football Insider understands.

The Light Blues boss has already dipped into the youth side to bolster his team this season, with injury, illness and suspension forcing him to seek cover from the club’s academy players.

A Rangers source has told Football Insider that Gerrard, 39, has elevated a number of youth prospects to work alongside the club’s top stars in a bid to boost their development and run the rule over their potential.

With a campaign that kicked off back to July 2019 with the club’s Europa League qualifiers, Gerrard has already given a number of hot prospects a taste of senior football this season.

Right-back Nathan Patterson, 18, filled in for the absent James Tavernier in the 2-0 League Cup win over Stranraer, a game which saw fellow teenager Kai Kennedy come on for a nine-minute cameo.

Josh McPake, an 18-year-old winger, played 23 minutes against St Joseph’s in the Europa League qualifiers and more youngsters have joined him in pushing for game time under Gerrard.

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As revealed by Football Insider earlier this month, Rangers handed McPake one of their most lucrative contract deals they have ever given to a youngster, due to his impressive rise through the youth ranks.

The Rangers development squad have taken part in several different competitions this season, including the Challenge Cup, the UEFA Youth League and the Glasgow Cup.

They were knocked out of the Challenge Cup earlier this month by Inverness in the semi-finals, while Atletico Madrid ended their stint in the European competition with a 4-0 win.

In other Rangers news, it can be REVEALED the club are set for a major windfall.