'He's got much better' - Russell Martin raves about Rangers 22-year-old
Rangers defender Russsell Martin believes Declan John is one of the most consistent players at the the club – and thinks captain Lee Wallace has a fight on his hands to get back into the side when he recovers from injury.
John has made the left-back spot his own since coming into the side following Lee Wallace’s injury in September and the former Cardiff City star has managed to force his way back into the Welsh national team after a four-year hiatus.
The Scotland international has had a difficult start to life at Ibrox and has come in for criticism from fans over his recent performances following his loan move in January.
The 29-times capped defender thinks John has got “much better” defensively after coming up against the Welshman at Cardiff while he was playing for Norwich City.
“When I played against him at Cardiff, he was on the left wing,” Martin told Rangers’ official podcast.
“But he can do both [left-back], he’s athletic enough. Defensively I think he’s got much better. That’ll come with games, he’s been working on it in training every day.
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“He wants to learn, he’s got a really good attitude. He accepts when he’s made a mistake, he’s a young player. I don’t know what he was like before I came in, but his level of performance has been very high. You talk, he listens.
“He’s been one of our most consistent performers, alongside Tav. This club should have competition in every position, the skipper will appreciate how well Dec has done, but he’ll have a real desire to get back in.”
John is expected to start on Saturday when the Gers face Dundee in the Scottish Premiership ahead of next weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final clash with Celtic at Hampden.
The defender initially joined the Gers on a season-long loan from Cardiff on transfer deadline day in August before penning a permanent deal in January.
Football Insider verdict:
John has made the left-back spot his own and Wallace faces a huge fight to get back into the starting XI. John’s attacking run has been a big part of the Gers’ play in recent months and with Lee Wallace having been out so long his signing worked out to be timed almost to perfection. At only 22, John has a long career ahead of him and his early start to life at Ibrox bodes well for his future with the Light Blues and could see him occupy the left-back berth for years to come.
In other Rangers news, Craig Burley has named his ideal candidate for the Gers job