Steven Gerrard hails Nathan Patterson as he discusses Rangers contract talks

Steven Gerrard insists Rangers won’t be rushed into sitting down with the title-winning squad to thrash out new contracts.

Nathan Patterson has impressed for Rangers
Nathan Patterson has impressed for Rangers

The Ibrox boss watched his side gain a useful 1-1 draw against Slavia Prague just days after the Gers sealed a first Scottish Premiership crown in a decade and speaking after the game, stressed the importance of taking time.

"I think we just need time to breathe,” he explained.

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"It's only days and hours after a league title win, the first in ten years. Everyone is on an incredible high and this game has come arounds extremely quickly.

"We have managed to set it up nicely for next week.

"We are well aware of all the players' contracts and where they sit, and what we need to do.

"In the right time we'll go to people we want to improve or extend deals. Myself, Ross [Wilson, sporting director] and the board are all aware of that.

"But we need time to breathe first. Those moments will come. We don't have a game at the weekend and then we have an international break on the horizon.

"Then it's the summer. In time, people will be rewarded for what they have given the club over the last three years."

One player who has already been rewarded with new contracts is young defender Nathan Patterson who filled in at right-back in the absence of club captain James Tavernier.

The 19-year-old scored in the previous round against Royal Antwerp but Gerrard felt the academy graduate showed his ability against the Czechs on Thursday night.

Declaring himself pleased with Patterson’s display, Gerrard added: “He was outstanding; I think he became a man tonight.

"This was probably the biggest game of his career – in fact it is, for sure. He has had a real big few weeks emotionally and he has stepped into the captain’s position and played with maturity.”

Patterson has so far made ten appearances for the Ibrox first team and Gerrard has vowed to keep nurturing his burgeoning talent.

He continued: “He has got a massive future ahead of him and we just need to keep guiding him and shaping him and improving him. We have got a player here, I think.

"I think you've seen the moves I've made in terms of the squad.

"I moved two or three full-backs on because I had big confidence in Calvin Bassey and also Nathan.

"We decided not to extend Jon Flanagan and moved Matt Polster on, and that's because we knew we had to make room for Nathan.

"There are only so many days you can spend in the academy and only so many games you can play well in before you need to make the next step.

"The club has rewarded him on a couple of occasions with contracts so I think we've shown in the past the confidence and belief we have in the kid.

"Now he just needs to keep growing and learning. We want him to become a real elite player and full-back for this country and club, more importantly. It's an exciting future for him. He's young and he just needs to be looked after in the right way. He's in the right place."

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