Mark Hateley believes Rangers youngster Ross McCrorie is finally walking tall at Ibrox after learning the perils of diving into too many tackles.
The 20-year-old was tipped to become one of Scotland’s greatest defenders by former Gers boss Pedro Caixinha when he made his first-team breakthrough last season.
But McCrorie endured a difficult end to his first campaign as he toiled at the back under caretaker manager Graeme Murty.
The low point came when he was sent off against Celtic as Brendan Rodgers’ men dished out a humiliating 4-0 Hampden drubbing.
New boss Steven Gerrard took over in the summer and immediately earmarked McCrorie as a midfield enforcer - claiming his predecessors had risked damaging his fledgling career by playing him in defence.
The Scotland Under-21 skipper has been made to bide his time this term but has re-established himself in Gerrard’s line-up recently and won praise as he dominated the likes of Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham during last month’s Old Firm victory.
And Hateley claims the guidance McCrorie is receiving from Gerrard is paying off.
“Ross has done very well recently - especially in the Old Firm game.
“Ross used to go to ground a lot when he first came in last year.
“He clearly still loves a tackle but the big difference for me is that he’s found his feet now, literally, and is staying on them more often.
“He’s a strong-running, enthusiastic, powerful young player who is still learning the game but learning very quickly.”