Noel Whelan has warned the Rangers players that manager Steven Gerrard will be “ruthless” in trying to catch Celtic at the top of the table.
The former Leeds and Aberdeen hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists the likes of Brandon Barker do not have time to adapt to the demands at Ibrox.
As revealed exclusively by Football Insider, the Gers are looking to offload the super quick 23-year-old after struggling to make an impact in his first season at the club.
It is understood the winger has impressed greatly on the training ground but that coaches doubt he has the character to replicate his behind the scenes form on a matchday.
Whelan insists that Gerrard will be demanding the right attitude from his squad and that anyone struggling to cope has no future with the Gers.
Whelan told Football Insider: “Brandon Barker, well, Steven (Gerrard), are we going to question these sort of managers, really?
“Steven’s a winner. You’ve got to be a player who’s going to satisfy Steven not only with quality but he will look at character, attitude, work rate first – trust me.
“That’s what he was brought up on, that’s the way he plays his game, he’s one of these managers that will be ruthless. Get the right players in and do the right thing for the club.
“If they’re going to go and start challenging, which they did for half the season this year, you find out about players who can hack the pressure, deal with the pressure, bring the quality week in, week out and be consistent.
“He will be analysing every single player, it won’t just be about: ‘Is he young? We’ll give him time.’ No, you don’t have time at clubs like Rangers.”
Barker has played just 12 times for the Light Blues since joining from Manchester City in 2019, with only four starts under his belt.
He has had to battle with the likes of Ryan Kent, Sheyi Ojo, Joe Aribo, Ianis Hagi and Greg Stewart for a place in Gerrard’s side.