Gary McAllister hails Steven Davis after Rangers claim friendly win
Gary McAllister singled out veteran midfielder Steven Davis as the pick of the 20 outfield players Rangers used in their 1-0 friendly win over Partick Thistle.
The Scottish champions began the match at Firhill with a team consisting mostly of fringe players and then made 10 changes for the second half – goalkeeper Robby McCrorie stayed on – with more star names involved.
A late Cedric Itten goal after skipper James Tavernier hit the post with a penalty gave the Gers victory in their first pre-season assignment.
Assistant manager McAllister highlighted the contribution of 36-year-old Northern Ireland international Davis.
He told Rangers’ official YouTube channel: “The second half we played more senior players on the pitch and you could see the composure and the quality.
“Looking at Steven Davis again, outstanding, and I thought he was the pick of the game tonight.
“We spoke before the game and I said Thistle would give us a good test and it was.
“It was a great exercise tonight with 20 outfield players getting 45 minutes, which is getting minutes into their legs.
“Clean sheet. OK, we missed a penalty. But I liked the goal. Ianis (Hagi) was impressive with his back-post header, a good knock down to Cedric and a good goal.”
McAllister was also impressed with 21-year-old midfielder Stephen Kelly, back from a loan spell at Ross County and on for the second half, saying “he did fantastically well”.
Looking ahead to the friendly at Tranmere next weekend, the former Scotland midfielder said: “Stephen has progressed really well. He has had a couple of good loans and impressed with every team that he has gone to.
“I think he warranted that tonight in amongst some senior players and top international footballers. He was very competent.”
McCrorie, 23, who was on loan at Livingston last season, also caught McAllister’s eye.
“When you look at Robby now, he really has matured,” he said. “I have noticed that around the training ground. He has become more of a man, taking more responsibility and ownership of his back four.
“He had a great save from the big lad (Brian) Graham to tip it over the bar and he had a really good night.
“We are hopeful of no injuries. There will be a few aches and pains but we will look forward to getting into the training ground and then travel down to Liverpool.”