Rangers striker Cedric Itten opens up on limited game-time and bizarre 'block'

Cedric Itten is happy to play the waiting game at Rangers as he believes he is improving as a player even without being a regular in Steven Gerrard’s team.

Cedric Itten scores in Rangers' 3-1 win over Motherwell at Ibrox in December - the Swiss striker has grabbed three goals in two appearances against the Fir Park club this season. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

The Swiss international striker has started just six games for the Ibrox club since his £2.7 million move from St Gallen in August.

But Itten, who has made another 17 appearances from the substitutes’ bench so far, views every day under Gerrard as a valuable learning experience as he competes with fellow front men Alfredo Morelos, Kemar Roofe and Jermain Defoe for a place in the side.

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“We have such a good squad here with so many good players and that’s why we have been successful this season,” said the 24-year-old.

“For me, it’s just a pleasure to play every day with them in training and learn a lot from them. There is so much experience in the squad as well and it’s great for me to be here.

“I try to be patient, work hard and be ready whenever the manager wants me to play. I think he is happy with my progress. He is always giving me some advice.

“I think I am getting better all the time at Rangers, training with my team-mates and also with all the work I do off the pitch with the fitness coaches and other stuff.

“I have learned a lot here already. The league is different to what I knew before and sometimes it is different in training too. But I have adapted now. I know all the tactics of the group and it’s all good improvements for me.”

While Itten primarily sees himself as a central striker, Gerrard has used him at times in one of the wider attacking positions in his preferred 4-3-3 formation. It’s an option the player is keen to pursue in search of more minutes on the pitch.

“I think I can play in all three positions across the front,” he said. “I’ve played more games as a number nine at my previous clubs but I like all three positions and it’s also good to learn different things.”

Itten has scored four goals for Rangers so far – three of them against Motherwell, their opponents on Sunday at Fir Park.

He scored a double in the 5-1 win on their first visit of the season to the Lanarkshire ground in September, before grabbing the vital second goal as Rangers had to come from behind to beat an ultra-defensive ‘Well side at Ibrox in December.

“I had never played against a block like that before, it was really different,” he said. “I was just happy we were able to break the block in the end and win that game.

“The game at Motherwell earlier in the season is obviously a happy memory for me, to score my first goals for Rangers, so I’m really looking forward to going back there on Sunday.”

If Itten keeps up his scoring run in the fixture, he will do his best to respect the new guidance asking players to tone down their goal celebrations in line with coronavirus protocols.

“We always try to be safe and respect the rules but on the pitch sometimes it is not easy,” he said. “You have the emotions, but we always try to take care.”

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