Rangers supporters have been making a lot of noise in recent times after seeing their side advance to top spot in the Scottish Premiership at the weekend.
Steven Gerrard’s men went into their clash with Hearts at Tynecastle sat in second place in the table but knowing that victory would see them leapfrog Old Firm rivals Celtic at the summit, what with the Bhoys in Scottish League Cup final action against Aberdeen. And while Brendan Rodgers’ side won the first domestic trophy of the season at Hampden Park, the Gers moved into first place in the table courtesy of a 2-1 success in Edinburgh, with goals from Connor Goldson and Alfredo Moreles inspiring the visitors to a precious three points.
Thus, there have been many thrilled Rangers fans up and down the country in recent times, with one man in particular more than proving his worth to manager Gerrard in recent weeks, namely 27-year-old Andy Halliday.
The midfielder made the move to Ibrox back in 2015 on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract at Bradford City, what with ex-boss Mark Warburton getting a deal done for a player who is growing increasingly integral to Gerrard’s team this time round, and thus his side’s title drive.
Ultimately, it hasn’t always been plain sailing for the Scottish star following his move north of the border three-and-a-half years ago, as although he was a regular under Warburton during his time in charge at Ibrox, he wasn’t anywhere to be seen under a combination of Pedro Caixinha and Graeme Murty last season.
The 27-year-old went from making 35 Scottish Championship appearances under Warburton in the 2015/16 season to just six Scottish Premiership appearances last time round, with his lowly position in the pecking order prompting Caixinha to loan him out to Azerbaijan Premier League side Gabala at the start of the 2017/18 campaign.
He returned in January though and did play a handful of times under Murty, but it has been when called upon by new manager Gerrard to deputise at left back this season which Halliday has really proven his credentials – the sort of credentials needed in a side competing for major honours.
An injury to number one choice left back Borna Barisic has left Gerrard short in that area of the field, and while Jon Flanagan, a right back by trade, has been occasionally utilised in that position, the fact that Halliday has started their last four league games in that role underlines just how versatile and accomplished he is proving to be down the left-hand-side.
He may not be the most talented of full backs, but what Halliday lacks in that area he more than makes up for in passion, drive, and a willingness to leave everything out on the field for Rangers – he has proven to be an absolute revelation at left back.
Yes, he has enjoyed some ups and some downs during his time with the Light Blues, but there is no doubting that, presently, he is a vital member of Gerrard’s squad – that’s not bad for someone who cost absolutely nothing back in 2015.
Thus, while he was a regular under Warburton, axed by Caixinha, and used sparingly by Murty, it appears that the former’s masterstroke is very much aiding Gerrard in his quest to take Rangers back to the summit of Scottish football.
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