Euro 2016 experience will stand me in good stead, says new Rangers signing Lee Hodson

Lee Hodson (right) pictured with Niall McGinn and Michael McGovern after Northern Irelands defeat to Wales at Euro 2016
Lee Hodson (right) pictured with Niall McGinn and Michael McGovern after Northern Irelands defeat to Wales at Euro 2016

Northern Ireland defender Lee Hodson didn’t make it off the bench at Euro 2016, but the 24-year-old feels he is a better player for the experience.

Hodson was part of Michael O’Neill’s squad that reached the last 16 in France – where they were defeated by eventual semi-finalists Wales.

Northern Ireland lost to Poland and Germany in the group stages, but earned a historic 2-0 win over Ukraine to progress to the knockout stages.

Former MK Dons defender Hodson, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Kilmarnock, was frustrated he did not get a chance to feature for his country this summer.

But the new Rangers signing believes the experience will stand him in good stead.

“Being at the Euros was fantastic,” he said.

“It was disappointing not to get any minutes but just to be there and experience the whole tournament was a massive learning curve for me.

“Watching the world champions Germany up close when we played them was great and I can cherish the fact I’ve been to a major tournament.

“Has it made me a better player? Definitely. The standard of training with the high-quality players I was away with helped, as did watching guys in my position who have more experience than I do.

“I took little bits of their game to help improve mine.

“The advice from the older players can only help as well.”

Hodson described his move to Gers as a “dream come true” but now he faces a battle to ensure he does not spend even more time among the substitutes.

The full-back has been signed by Mark Warburton to provide cover for skipper Lee Wallace and James Tavernier, who netted 15 times from defence last year.

“Every player wants to play but Lee and ‘Tav’ did really well last year and proved they are great players, so I’ll have to be patient and bide my time,” admitted the 24-year-old.

“If I work hard in training, hopefully when I get the opportunity I take it.”