Rangers are due to take on English opposition this summer, according to an insider, as Steven Gerrard prepares for his first season as a manager.
According to Four Lads Had a Dream on Twitter, the Light Blues will welcome Bury and Wigan to Ibrox in July ahead of the Europa League and Scottish Premiership campaigns getting started.
Rangers pre-season beginning to shape up, Players to return on June 15th
Andalucia from 17th-27th June for training & potentially a match versus a local side
Ibrox friendlies vs Bury on July 6th & Wigan on July 29th also being lined up (tbc)
More scheduled games also expected
— Four Lads Had a Dream (@4ladshadadream) June 1, 2018
Although fans would probably want more glamorous opposition to Ibrox, bringing Bury and Wigan to Ibrox is a great opportunity for Gerrard to get an idea of what his squad are capable of – particularly a number of the fringe players at Ibrox.
There’s no point in bringing a big European name to Ibrox only to be on the wrong end of a 3-0 or 4-0 defeat and learn next-to-nothing from the experience but giving fans a fun day out.
With the Europa League campaign due to get underway six days after the apparent date for the Bury clash it will also be a good opportunity to get the players up to speed and avoid being caught out cold like they were 12 months ago against Progres Niederkorn.
Bringing Wigan north a week before the start of the league campaign will be another step up in quality and provide a stiffer test than their local rivals and should give the Gers a tough game.
Gerrard and director of football Mark Allen appear to have made a conscious decision to set pre-season up in a way designed to maximise the players’ preparation rather than the club’s commercial interests and Gerrard will be hoping it proves to be a success.