Rangers youngster James Maxwell outlines his pathway to first team

Nathan Patterson is only 19-years-old but has already become a source of inspiration. Fellow full-back Fraser Maxwell is bidding to emulate his friend by breaking into the Ibrox first-team next season.

On-loan Queen of the South left-back James Maxwell (left), who still has a year left at Rangers, battles with Hibernian's Martin Boyle during this week's Scottish Cup tie (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

There’s the not insignificant obstacle of current left-back Borna Barisic to contend with first, with Patterson also aware nothing is guaranteed once James Tavernier returns to fitness on the other side of defence.

Maxwell, also 19, caught the eye with a fine goal for on-loan club Queen of the South in the 3-1 Scottish Cup defeat to Hibs on Monday but he’s still in the dark about what will happen next season.

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Ibrox loans manager Billy Kirkwood has been providing regular feedback on his performances at Palmerston Park and Maxwell is hoping his latest display can help convince manager Steven Gerrard that he is worth considering ahead of next season’s title defence.

“Nathan is flying at the moment and he has definitely taken his opportunity really well,” said Maxwell. “He is doing well every game. I think that gives a lift to everybody. He got his chance he and took it and he’s staying in the side now. Hopefully I can go back and replicate that and take my chance.

“I have a year left so I am not sure what Rangers are planning in terms of next season – I need to speak to them about it,” he added.

Maxwell has adored his time at Queen of the South, where he has been a first-team regular under Allan Johnston. “I was not sure what to expect really – it was my first season in professional football,” he said. “I didn’t know whether I would be in and out and getting games here and there. But I have played nearly every game so I am absolutely delighted with how it’s worked out.

“I am still learning, I was against Martin Boyle (v Hibs) and he gave me problems. I need to take that and learn and hopefully go back a better player than when I came here. But there are still five games left and we need to push towards getting into the play-offs.”

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