Kris Boyd believes Alfredo Morelos needs to drop the volatility and find the productivity to become a top striker for Rangers this season.
Colombian star Morelos has already been involved in a major flashpoint when he was sent off at Pittodrie for flicking out at Scott McKenna, even if it was subsequently reduced to a yellow card. And Boyd revealed he had to be taken off before he was sent off in a closed-door game against Kilmarnock last season.
As Rangers prepare to face Maribor tonight, Boyd has cautioned Morelos to keep his cool.
He said: “Pedro Caixinha said last year that Morelos is easily wound up. It’s something you have to deal with as a young player. You’re playing for Rangers, you’re scoring goals, you’re a threat – teams will try to do something to put you off. He is a handful but that’s just the way he is.
“I remember last year we were playing against them in a closed-doors game and the referee was going to send him off.
“You can’t change him but if he’s getting involved in little incidents he doesn’t need to then that’s something he has to brush up on.
“You need to pick and choose your moments to have a go back. It’s not the first time you stood on somebody or somebody has nipped you. For me, the best way to shut somebody up is to score a goal. It might take until the 89th minute but it’s the best way.
“Morelos has definitely got that in him. He keeps going to the last whistle but he needs to learn to ignore things because he is going to be a target for defenders.”
He will be a target for the Kilmarnock defenders on Sunday with a place in the last eight of the Betfred Cup up for grabs and Rugby Park captain Boyd is relishing the challenge.
He said: “Morelos is definitely someone who brings something to Rangers. He can be a handful and the big thing is that he’s still only 22 and he can improve. He has that knack of being in the right place at the right time and can score goals. I don’t think he’s one to take people on, he depends more on service from his team-mates.
“He works really hard for the team and that’s something we’ll need to be aware of on Sunday, along with his physicality. The guys round about him need to be creating chances and, if they do that, he can certainly score goals. If he does ignore defenders and concentrates on what he needs to do, I’m sure he can get close to that 20 or 25-goal target.
“I’m looking forward to Sunday. Rangers have definitely improved, turned the corner, and we know we’ll have to be at our best to get anything from the game. It’s a cup game where anything can happen and Rangers are obviously coming back from Europe on the Thursday night as well.”