McPake ‘close to debut’
Steven Gerrard has hinted that Rangers starlet Josh McPake and fellow youngster Dapo Mebude may be handed a chance in the first team.
The duo were part of the matchday squad for the visit of Rangers on Sunday but neither made the bench. However, the Gers boss believes that could change.
Speaking to Rangers TV, he said: “They’ve been around [the squad] a couple of times before, but I think today, they were around it for real.
“I think they’re close, they’re giving me something to think about, they’re on my mind - so are a few others in the academy.
“I believe in the academy; if there’s an opportunity, the boys have to be on their toes, because I won’t be reluctant to put someone out there,” he added.
Neither Eros Grezda nor Kyle Lafferty - who were hooked at half time in the much-discussed closed-doors game with a Liverpool XI - made the squad amid reports they could be moved on in the summer.
Katic reveals talks with Gerrard
Nikola Katic has confirmed he has had talks with Steven Gerrard - but vowed never to detail exactly what the Anfield legend tells him.
The Croatian centre back was a regular starter during the early part of the season but found himself out of the picture, with Joe Worrall and Conor Goldson the preferred centre-half partnership for a number of games.
Howver, Katic has come back into the starting line-up in recent weeks and revealed to Rangers TV that he had held in-depth discussions with his boss.
Asked what the discussion had been about, Katic said: “I will keep that for myself, definitely, but I think he believes in me and he called me and told me to be ready for the game.
“I knew the chance would come again, so I was ready for it. We’ve had a few conversations, but that’s personal between me and him and I think he believes in me and he wants the best for me, so I respect him too much [to reveal what was said].”
Tavernier on ‘banter’ with legend
James Tavernier has revealed an ongoing battle with Rangers legend John Greig - over the number of goals the pair have scored.
Tavernier’s penalty brace against Aberdeen took him to 16 for the season, eclipsing Greig’s record of 14.
“I had a joke with John after the game. In the Championship season I broke his record and gave him some stick.
“But he gave me it back saying it was only the Championship! I am happy to remind him I’ve broken it again. But Greigy just told me he didn’t take penalties!
“So I’m getting stick again. We always chat after games and he’s the first to congratulate me.”