Rangers forward Greg Stewart has admitted that he is disappointed with his lack of starts for the club this season but has challenged himself to convince manager Steven Gerrard to pick him more regularly.
Speaking to the Glasgow Times, the 29-year-old conceded that it hasn’t been easy to get into the team given the level of attacking competition in the Light Blues’ squad.
He said: “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed not to play every game, but you can only pick 11 players. It’s just the way it goes. All you can try and do as a player is, when you get a chance, try and get in the manager’s mind to pick you for the next game.
“But the boys have been performing well in the last few games. It has been difficult to get in and the manager has not really changed much. It is just the way it is.”
Stewart has been in Rangers’ starting line-up just five times in all competitions so far this season, most recently against Motherwell in late October. [via TransferMarkt]
His uphill struggle for recognition from Gerrard was summarised by his one-minute substitute appearance against the Well last Sunday and his failure to make it off the bench in last week’s Europa League draw against Young Boys.
Stewart, a versatile attacker who can play on either flank, at centre-forward or as an attacking midfielder, has been reasonably productive with the game-time that he has been afforded this season.
In 502 minutes of action in the current campaign, he has scored three goals and set up another four, netting a late brace against Hearts earlier this month after coming on as a 74th-minute substitute (as per BBC).
Stewart’s prospects of playing a significant role in Friday night’s visit to Hibernian have been improved by the suspension of Alfredo Morelos after Rangers’ top scorer (27 goals this term) was sent off in the 2-0 win at Fir Park a couple of days ago.
With Jermain Defoe being Rangers’ next most prolific player after Morelos, having scored 13 goals in 896 minutes of action this season, he seems the most likely starter at centre-forward on Friday night.
However, with Stewart the only other recognised centre-forward in Gerrard’s squad, the 29-year-old looks set for at least a place on the bench, and his ability to play in a variety of attacking roles could see him being handed a rare start.
If Stewart is given his chance against Hibernian, the onus is on him to make the most of it just as he did against another Edinburgh club at the start of December, especially after publicly stating his desire to play more regularly.
Rangers fans, do you think Stewart could start against Hibernian with Morelos suspended? Was he right to speak out about his lack of opportunities in the first team? Comment below with your views!
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