Alan Hutton has urged Steven Gerrard to give the “unbelievable” James Tavernier a rest and give Nathan Patterson a chance in the Rangers starting XI over the coming months.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Rangers and Scotland defender has suggested the 29-year-old will need a break due to the fixture “pile-up” over winter.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Gerrard revealed he “wouldn’t think twice about putting Patterson in to start a game,” after his impressive performances on the training ground.
Rangers are set to play 11 games over the next eight weeks, including three games over the space of seven days at the end of December.
With no winter break scheduled for Scottish football this season, Hutton has suggested that Tavernier, who has played in every game so far this term, will need to be rotated with Patterson.
Asked if he thought Patterson would get a decent amount of game time this season, Hutton told Football Insider: “I hope so.
“The thing is, if you’re a young right-back and you’re looking at Tavernier, his goals and assists are unbelievable, he’s very rarely injured so it’s going to have to be that situation where he gets rested.
“If you look at the fixture list, there’s so many games – if they stay in Europe, they’ve got the league games, they don’t stop for the winter break this year so they’re going to have a fixture pile-up at some point, especially over Christmas and New Year.
“You’d like to think that Gerrard would rotate the squad and give these boys a chance. We all want to see them – we know what Tavernier can do, we know what Barisic can do so let’s see the up and coming, the next generation and see what they’re made of.”
Patterson, a graduate of the Rangers youth system, has started just once in his four appearances for the senior side at Ibrox so far.
He made his debut against Stranraer in a Scottish Cup clash back in January, while he has featured as a substitute twice this season.
In other Rangers news, Kevin Phillips has tipped a Premier League star to make a shock move to Ibrox.