With Rangers’ winter excursion to sunny Tenerife underway in earnest on its fourth day, Ibrox Noise thought we’d take you through a rundown of the talking points so far from the camp.
1: Prominence of Lee Wallace, Nikola Katic and Jordan Rossiter. The media team have chosen to make a huge amount of fuss over these three, featuring them heavily in the promotional material. Sure, it’s happened many times before, when a frozen-out player strangely featured more significantly than expected. Might be nothing in it, but equally manager Steven Gerrard may be considering a bigger role for all three in the second half of the season.
2: Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis have integrated into the group consummately professionally. Two wily pros like these should have no difficulty indeed doing this, but it’s always good to see a new signing or two blending in smoothly and appearing to fit in neatly.
3: Borna Barisic remains a bit of a distance off fitness. The Croat sustained a pulled hamstring in Perth and has been AWOL ever since. And before the usual types go nuts about AWOL (like they did over our Morelos piece), it’s just a turn of phrase which doesn’t literally have to mean without consent. No, Barisic’s time in Scotland has been nothing short of a complete disaster so far – he has the talent, but cannot remain fit at all.
4: Eros Grezda too appears to have picked up an injury – information is a training ground accident involving Jermain Defoe caused it, but we cannot verify that. The snap we published this morning is a very bad prognosis though.
5: Jamie Murphy is certainly on the right track – the colossal injury he got at Killie was said to be season-ending, but the lad is running, moving and using his leg well. He might just be available before the end of the season going by current progress.
6: Graham Dorrans has been low key during this training camp. He is indeed involved but not heavily – it seems he’s still doing separate ballwork away from the group en-masse. We hope he will indeed regain fitness sometime this season.
7: Ryan Hardie’s future is very much up to himself. Steven Gerrard will run the rule over the striker during this winter camp and make a decision at the end – we do suspect the chances are he’ll return back to Livi leaving Rangers with three recognised strikers. But if Hardie wants to be part of the Gerrard era, he will need to impress in the Canary Islands.
A mixed bag.