Ryan Jack’s impressive rate of development at Rangers over the past 16 months has its roots in what he has learned from two of the best practitioners in his position the British game has seen.
Under the guidance of manager Steven Gerrard and his assistant Gary McAllister, Jack has become arguably the most influential and consistent player in the Ibrox club’s line-up.
It now appears that the 27-year-old is ready to address one glaring omission from his skill set – a regular contribution to the team’s goals tally. That is something both Gerrard, who scored 212 goals in his illustrious career, and McAllister, who notched 132, always combined with their ability to run a game from the centre of the pitch.
Jack scored just 11 times in 250 appearances for Aberdeen before his move to Rangers, where his first-ever career brace in Wednesday’s 4-0 win at Ross County made it seven goals in 85 outings so far for the club he supported as a boy.
“I wouldn’t say I am a known goal scorer if I am honest,” said Jack. “But every time I get on the pitch, if I get the chance, I will look to shoot and try to take that chance.
“It is the first time I’ve ever scored two in a game and I am delighted to get goals and help the team.
“Gary McAllister talked about looking for more goals from midfield before the game and if you are going to be successful, everyone is going to have to play their part. We have got goals right throughout the team.
“Joe Aribo has got a few from midfield, Scotty Arfield gets a few. We all want to play a part and we were all delighted with the performance on Wednesday night.”
Jack admits he is relishing the opportunity on a daily basis to improve himself through the input of Gerrard and McAllister. “Just learning from them, you see the way they went about their business and how they played the game,” added Jack.
“If I can pick their brains every day about how they see the game, then that is only going to benefit me.
“I wouldn’t say the manager is too full on, he just gives you that freedom and tells you to go and express yourself and do what you do every day in training. For me, that works perfectly.
“If there is anything they see that they want to clarify or clear up, they will let you know. And, vice versa, if you have got any questions the manager says his door is always open. They are two legends of the game and it is a privilege to learn from them.”
Jack was substituted just after the hour mark in Dingwall but was not too upset at being denied the possibility of a hat-trick.
“Not really, to be honest,” he said. “I have just come back after three weeks out with a tear in my calf. I am obviously delighted to be back and the medical team did a brilliant job to get me back last Thursday in Porto. To get the minutes in on Wednesday was good. We have got a semi-final against Hearts on Sunday and another big week after that. There are a lot of games coming thick and fast and I just need to make sure I am right.”